NEW ULM, MN
Dustin Dobberstein of New Richland, MN, is the 2014 Young Cooperator (YC) chairman for Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI). Fellow YCs elected the dairy farmer during the spring annual meeting of the Midwest milk marketing cooperative. The YC program provides educational and leadership opportunities to AMPI members age 40 and under.
"AMPI YCs get a behind-the-scenes look into how our co-op operates through manufacturing plant tours and educational sessions," Dobberstein says. "Understanding how our milk is marketed and learning from co-op leaders is important as we represent the future of this business. At the same time, we are building a network of friendships — fellow dairy farmers who learn from and support each other."
Dobberstein will be working with YC steering committee members to plan and host events throughout the year. Other members of the committee are: past chairpersons, Aaron and Jessica Radermacher, Brooten, MN; vice chairpersons, Jacob and Sarah Enter, Nicollet, MN; secretaries, John and Renee Kotek, Bangor; and members-at-large, Derek and Marcie Peterson, Black River Falls.
Looking ahead, AMPI YCs will be traveling to the Twin Cities on June 23-24 for the annual YC summer tour. The event will feature tours of the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota and AMPI's independent milk testing lab, DQCI.
Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) is a dairy marketing cooperative owned by 2,600 Midwest dairy farm families who operate farms in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. AMPI members own 10 manufacturing plants and market cheese, butter and powdered dairy products, serving foodservice, retail and food ingredient customers. In 2013, these dairy farmer-owners marketed 5.8 billion pounds of milk, resulting in $1.8 billion in sales for the cooperative.