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DBweekly NMPF: TRANSITION COMPLETE, BUT BUSINESS UNFINISHED The 2013 National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB)/National Milk Producers Federation(NMPF)/United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA) joint annual meeting was marked by the completion of a leadership change within the industry begun a year ago – as well as a lot of unfinished business left by the gridlock in Washington, D.C. About 1,000 dairy producers and industry representatives attended the meeting in Phoenix, Nov. 11-13. In his mostly personal address to NMPF 16 years. A large part of his address was an emotional “thank you” to staff members and dairy producer industry leaders who helped guide policy efforts of the organization during his tenure. Incoming NMPF president Jim Mulhern used his address to outline his vision for the 32,000-member organization moving forward, urging members to remain supportive financially – but also increase time, effort and engagement – to drive dairy policy and producer goals. Meet REAL Seal’s ‘DairyUS’ After a nationwide vote, a new cartoon character helping to build awareness of the advan- tages of real dairy foods has a name: “DairyUS”. A video announcing the name is on the REAL® Seal website homepage. DairyUS, modeled after the iconic REAL® Seal logo, was selected in online voting which ended Nov. 5. The character will help a new generation of consumers distinguish between genuine U.S. dairy products and a growing list of list of imita- tions, according to National Milk Producers Federation chief operating officer Jim Mulhern. NMPF also offered a preview of the REAL® Seal buyer’s guide, a web-based search engine that will make it easier for consumers to patronize brands and stores that offer real dairy products. The buyer’s guide website will soon be online. staff and members, Jerry Kozak stressed the importance of family in his decision to retire as president and CEO of the organization after “The future of NMPF is not a function of what I want … or any one leader,” Mulhern said. “Rather, the successful future of NMPF will be a function of the active engagement that our board, our delegates and our grassroots members have in the organization and the industry.” Mulhern, who succeeds Kozak as president and CEO on Jan. 1, 2014, also stressed the need for increased transparency in the dairy industry. Food marketing information – and in some cases fear marketing – “has created a value chain where everyone is accountable for what they do, and why they do it,” he said. “We must tell our story because if we don’t, others – who don’t have our interests at heart – are telling a very different, and harmful, story.” He urged more farmers to get involved in using the tools of transparency, especially social media, to talk about what they do and why they do it, and to challenge in a respectful way all the myths that abound in the public about dairy farming today. On other subjects, Mulhern said once the 2013 Farm Bill is enacted, NMPF will tackle federal milk marketing order system reform, and consider addressing some changes to federal 4 Dave Natzke | DairyBusiness Update identity standards for dairy foods – but only if they benefit farmers. He said that while some current policy battles pit producer against processor, “we have much more in common than we have in difference with our friends in the processing community. We must and we will work closely together to accomplish what’s in the best interest of the entire dairy industry. For us, the focus must be on growing the pie, not re-dividing the existing pie. It’s all about finding a win-win, and preventing win-lose scenarios.” Immigration reforms, federal nutrition policy, trade and environmental regulation are issues of continuing and emerging concern, Mulhern explained. Mooney: House making mistake NMPF board chair Randy Mooney, a dairy producer from Rogersville, Mo. and also board chair of Dairy Farmers of America, discussed ongoing debate over dairy policy in the as-yet- unfinished federal Farm Bill.
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