Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Celebrates 100th Annual Meeting Using Virtual Meeting Technology
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cooperative to cancel its originally scheduled annual meeting back in March. The Board of Directors and the management team changed their vision for the 100th Annual Meeting and offered two members’ only virtual sessions earlier this week to deliver 2019 year-end and 2020 mid-year financial reports, an update on business strategy, sales and operations, plus a mechanism for electing directors.
President Matt Hoff shared that COVID-19’s impact on dairy markets have made 2020 has feel like a wild rollercoaster ride. Hoff reported that Maryland & Virginia’s plants shouldered the unusual fluctuations in customer demands without issue.
“We are fortunate that we have been able to balance our milk supply without having to dump raw milk,” said Hoff.
The co-op’s two consumer products plants, which were running near capacity prior to the pandemic, exceeded capacity for several weeks. Similarly, the co-op’s ingredients facilities flexed to handle an additional 250 loads per week when declines in food service and food volumes pushed milk back into manufacturing.
Hoff attributed this success to the significant capital improvement projects completed over the last five years.
“Thanks to our investment, our plants have been able to handle the incredible volumes we’ve sent their way. We can’t thank our operations teams enough for their ability to adapt with our fluctuations in customer demand,” Hoff said.
CEO Jay Bryant commented on the evolution of Maryland & Virginia’s business model over the past 100 years. He shared that when the co-op first formed in the 1920s, Maryland & Virginia had 824 members that shipped an aggregate of 73 million pounds. At the time the average member had 23 cows.
Today Maryland & Virginia members produce upwards of 2.5 billion pounds of milk, the co-op has 917 members and the average farm size is 125 cows. The business includes 4 processing plants and the iconic Maola Local Dairies milk brand.
Bryant touched on the business transformation embarked upon in 2015, and now that much of those projects are completed, Maryland & Virginia is poised for growth. He reiterated Hoff’s assertion that to continue to grow the co-op’s business, there is a continued need to reinvest in its people, plant operations and products.
Herbein + Company reported results of the director elections completed by mail prior to the meeting. The following five directors were elected to each fulfill a three-year term on the Board of Directors:
• Brian Detwiler, Altoona, Pennsylvania;
• David Pool, Robesonia, Pennsylvania;
• Matt Hoff, New Windsor, Maryland;
• Roddy Purser, Marshville, North Carolina;
• Fred Rowe, Columbia, Kentucky.
Hoff recognized retiring director Tim Stoner of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania for his 12 years of leadership on the Board of Directors. Tim has served on numerous committees and at various points chaired the Member Services Committee and the Bylaws & Territory Committee. Hoff thanked Tim for always speaking his mind and representing the membership with such conviction.
The Board of Directors held its annual reorganization meeting immediately after the Annual Meeting, and the following directors and staff have been elected to officer positions for the coming year:
• President – Matt Hoff, New Windsor, Maryland;
• First Vice President – Kevin Satterwhite, Newberry, South Carolina;
• Second Vice President – David Pool, Robesonia, Pennsylvania;
• Secretary & Treasurer – Jay Bryant, Reston, Virginia;
• Assistant Treasurer – Jon Cowell, Reston, Virginia.
During the Honors Ceremony, Maryland & Virginia paid tribute to its 100-year history with a video highlighting the co-op’s achievements by decade. First Vice President Kevin Satterwhite and Second Vice President David Pool presented awards for membership milestones and the Producer of the Year, plus announced the recipients of the co-op’s 2020 Scholarship Awards.
The four farms honored for membership milestones included:
• Dogwood Farm, Purcellville, Virginia, 100 Years of Membership
• Kenwood Farm, Orange, Virginia, 100 Years of Membership
• Glaettli Farm, Catlett, Virginia, 100 Years of Membership
• Cool Lawn Farms, Remington, Virginia, 50 Years of Membership
The Producer of the Year is Nealand Farms of Newville, Pennsylvania.
The five $1,000 scholarship recipients include:
• Ryan Allen, Jefferson, Maryland;
• Todd Allen, Jefferson, Maryland;
• Caroline Dallam, Bel Air, Maryland;
• Rachel Gray, Stony Point, North Carolina;
• Isabelle Leonard, Spottswood, Virginia.
The five $500 scholarship recipients include:
• Jill Allen, Jefferson, Maryland;
• Kayla Brody, Myersville, Maryland;
• William Coltrane, Pleasant Garden, North Carolina;
• Maggie Green, Hagerstown, Maryland;
• Tiffany Heishman, Strasburg, Virginia.
Lindsay Reames, 804-370-4324, firstname.lastname@example.org