Leaders of Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) reported record milk volume and sales growth for 2008.
“AMPI grew with its members-owners who marketed 6% more milk than the previous year,” said Ed Welch, AMPI president and CEO to 400 annual meeting delegates and guests gathered at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel. “A record 5.8 billion pounds of milk, combined with strong dairy product markets and AMPI sales, resulted in $1.7 billion of revenue.”
AMPI exceeded annual budget expectations with $11 million in earnings from operations, before inventory adjustment. Earnings were bolstered by strong domestic sales of bulk natural cheese, as well as consumer-packaged cheese and butter.
In detailing AMPI 2008 results, Welch said the cooperative recognized a $14.9 million loss due to the devaluation of dairy product inventory by year’s end.

“Global demand, which buoyed dairy product prices and sales throughout the first half of 2008, nearly disappeared in the fourth quarter,” he said.
The markets also affected on-farm milk prices, Welch said. Prices plummeted in early 2009, following two years of near-record milk prices.
AMPI Chairman of the Board Paul Toft, a dairy farmer from Rice Lake, Wis., said the ultimate measure of cooperative performance is long-term growth.

“We continue to focus on growing our membership and consumer-packaged dairy product business to ready this cooperative for the next generation of member-owners,” he said.