Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Inc. celebrated its 99th year of operation and reported that the organization is focused on the future and maximizing value for its current members and the next generation of members.
President Matt Hoff, recognized that 2018 was a long, hard year for the membership. “Between the low milk prices, nonexistent margins, and the unusually wet weather, the challenges dairy farmers have faced in 2018 really took a toll on our region.”
Hoff remarked that, “the tide is turning for our member and the cooperative. Markets are starting to firm up, and the milk price outlook is more optimistic than it was a year ago. Maryland & Virginia has continued the positive momentum of being our own largest customer for the second year in a row, and we’re running more of our member milk through our own plants.”
CEO Jay Bryant echoed Hoff’s sentiments about the challenging year members and the industry faced in 2018. He reported that the co-op made key investments into its facilities to keep them operating at a high level. In addition, he shared that at a time when fluid sales are down nationally, Maryland & Virginia’s fluid processing facilities are running more volumes thanks to the co-op’s acquisition of new customers and with existing key customers who are growing their business with Maryland & Virginia.
Bryant introduced new key leadership among the co-op’s executive team, including Jon Cowell as the co-op’s new Chief Financial Officer, and Lindsay Reames as Director of Sustainability & External Relations.
The membership in attendance voted in six directors to each fulfill a three-year term on the Board of Directors. The newly elected directors include:
- Jim Biddle, Williamsburg, Pennsylvania
- David Hunsberger, Mifflintown, Pennsylvania
- Gary Truckenmiller, Watsontown, Pennsylvania
- Ben Flahart, Colora, Maryland
- Ricky Talley, Olin, North Carolina
- Connie Finton, New Philadelphia, Ohio
Hoff recognized retiring directors Monk Sanford of Orange, Virginia and Phyllis Kilby of Colora, Maryland for their collective 23 years of service on the Board. With 20 years of service, Monk was active on a number of committees including the Executive Committee and a past-chair of the Finance Committee. Phyllis most recently served as the chair of the Bylaws and Territory committee, and she was on Auditing & Compliance committee as well as the Human Resources & Retirement Benefits committee.
Maryland & Virginia honored two farm families as Producers of the Year and two families as Producer of the Year Finalists.
The Producer of the Year award is a new recognition for the cooperative. According to First Vice President Kevin Satterwhite, “We have created this top honor to recognize members who not only achieve high quality milk, but who go above and beyond and demonstrate outstanding overall farm management, environmental sustainability and community engagement.”
The winners are as follows:
Producer of the Year for Federal Orders 1 & 33:
Red Sunset Farm, Dave and Marie Graybill
Producer of the Year for Federal Orders 5 & 7:
Winding River Farms, Wes Kent
Weyers Cave, Virginia
Producer of the Year Finalist for Federal Orders 1 & 33:
Steam Valley Farms, The Steel Family
Producer of the Year Finalist for Federal Orders 5 & 7:
North Point Farm, The Phillips Family
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