Milk production increases in the West

Dairy farmers from across Idaho and Utah will meet at the Nov. 13-14 Dairy West meeting in Boise.

Market and geopolitical conditions, and the impact of well-crafted branding in a challenging industry are among topics that will be addressed at the upcoming Dairy West annual meeting.

It will be Nov. 13-14 at Boise Centre, 250 S. Ninth St., Boise. “Building for the Future” is this year’s theme.

Dairy West represents dairy farm families in Idaho and Utah in promoting the industry and its products worldwide. More than 850 people attended the 2018 annual meeting in Boise, the group said. The event also features a trade show.

The dairy community in recent years “has seen a lot of change and experienced uncertainty, yet we consistently see our Idaho farmers embracing a pioneering spirit even through hardship,” Senior Vice President of Marketing Kristi Spence said. On-farm innovation and efficiency improvement are among the industry trends.

“Farm-level impacts regarding milk prices and consumer expectations regarding stewardship practices are top-of-mind for the industry today,” she said.

Nov. 13 events include a panel discussion about whether Idaho and Utah should be part of the Federal Milk Marketing Order system, a Milk Quality Awards luncheon and a presentation by the University of Minnesota’s Marin Bozic, who is expected to cover global geopolitical impacts on the industry. He is associate director of Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center. His dairy-research program covers policy, risk management, demand for dairy goods and the economics of new processing technologies.

Spence said Idaho and Utah left the federal marketing order in 2004. “And with California recently joining the federal order system, there are questions surrounding how Idaho’s and Utah’s future inclusion might impact the prices for our dairymen.”

On Nov. 14, a panel is slated to discuss the National Milk Producers Federation’s Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) program, which is certified by the International Organization for Standardization.

Spence said FARM’s animal-care standards are revised every three years to reflect current science and best-management practices in the dairy industry. Scheduled panelists including National Milk CEO Jim Mulhern and members of the program’s technical-writing committee will offer perspective and answer questions about currently proposed changes.

Andrew Davis, the Nov. 14 luncheon keynote speaker, is scheduled to discuss how good branding can increase demand. An author, he has owned a successful digital-marketing agency, developed business informational content, worked as a network news writer and producer, and created documentaries. Dairy producers’ stories will precede his presentation. The Idaho Dairy Hall of Fame Award will be presented at a 6 p.m. banquet.

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