Dave Buck of Goodhue, Minn., has been named as the new president of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association. He was elected by the group’s board of directors at its meeting Nov. 30 during the Minnesota Milk Dairy Conference and Expo in St. Cloud, Minn.
Buck replaces Pat Lunemann, a Clarissa, Minn., dairy farmer who served in that role for the past 9 years. Lunemann was recently elected chairman of the Minnesota AgriGrowth Council.
Additional officers elected were Shelly DePestel, Lewiston, Minn., vice president; Marianne Peterson, Pine City, Minn., secretary; and Kristine Spadgenske, Menahga, Minn., treasurer.
Kindra Carlson, Pennock, Minn., is newly elected to the MMPA board. Incumbents Lunemann, Buck, Spadgenske and Bob Dombeck of Perham, Minn., were re-elected to the board.
Other board members who continue to serve are Cassie Czech, Foley, Minn.; Jerry Jennissen, Brooten, Minn.; Garrett Luthens, Hutchinson, Minn.; Roger Peters, Tyler, Minn.; Michael White, Pine Island, Minn.; Rick Smith, Adams, Minn.; and Craig Roerick, Swanville, Minn.
Also during the conference, State Senator Lyle Koenen of Clara City, Minn., who served in the legislature for 14 years, was recognized as the Minnesota Milk Legislator of the Year. Koenen, who served as a state representative for 8 years, won his Senate seat in 2012 and is a former dairy farmer, bus driver and milk truck driver.
The former CEO of Midwest Dairy Association, Mike Kruger, who retired in July after 35 years of service to dairy farmers, was chosen as the recipient of the Bruce Cottington Friend of Dairy award for 2016.
During an auction headlined by award-winning butter and cheese through the Upper Midwest Dairy Industry Association, Minnesota Milk raised more than $11,000 designated for scholarships. Last year’s 10 scholarship winners were honored during the Expo.
MMPA members passed a package of resolutions covering topics that affect dairy farmers and the industry supporting them. Among the priorities established as key for 2017 are affordable health insurance, adjusting the level of stray current acceptable on dairy farms and continued support for dairy infrastructure.