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Published May 13, 2009, 12:00 AM

Dairy Advisory Committee works to strengthen industry

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson has reappointed the 14-member Dairy Profitability Committee, saying the committee’s work is vital to finding ways to strengthen the dairy industry.

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson has reappointed the 14-member Dairy Profitability Committee, saying the committee’s work is vital to finding ways to strengthen the dairy industry.

Since being formed in 2007, the committee has been examining emerging issues within the dairy industry and providing the commissioner with recommendations to increase dairy profitability and improve the industry’s competitiveness.

The committee’s priorities include making dairy farmers aware of how to access additional sources of capital, finding an affordable health care system for their families, supporting the state’s current dairy farmers while encouraging new dairy operations and promoting reinvestment in Minnesota’s dairy industry.

The committee has recommended the state conduct a study on the economic impact of the dairy industry on local, regional and state economies. Other recommendations include reminding eligible dairymen to take advantage of and register for the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) with local FSA offices and increasing efforts to promote Minnesota as a dairy state.

Commissioner Hugoson said the members have helped unify the commitment to promote and strengthen the dairy industry and he appreciates the work they have done over the past two years.

“I’m really pleased with their efforts to help find ways to increase dairy profits in Minnesota,” Hugoson said. “But with low milk prices and higher input costs, their work is not done. We need their expertise and continued input on how to best support the dairy industry.”

The Dairy Profitability Advisory Committee represents various segments of the dairy industry including producers, suppliers, processors, lenders, educators and farm organizations. The committee is facilitated by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Development staff.

Members were reappointed through 2010 and include Duane Alberts, Pine Island; Tom Anderson, Plainview; Eunice Biel, Harmony; Greg Blaine, Little Falls; Joe Borgerding, Belgrade; Ron Collett, Zumbrota; Ken Herbranson, Clitherall; Bob LeCocq, Rochester; Pat Lunemann, Clarissa; Dawn Jansen, Litchfield; Steve Krikava, Edina; Nick Kunkel, Ramsey; Jim Salfer, St. Cloud; and Keith Wilts, St. Michael.

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