Dairy producer and industry leaders from across the United States will discuss ways to help “Secure Dairy’s Future” at the 2012 joint annual meeting of the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB)/National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF)/United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA). The meeting will take place Oct. 29-31, at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The three-day event will convene dairy producer cooperative and promotion leaders to learn more about how national dairy policy and promotion organizations are working together to secure a better future for all producers.

At the meeting the producer leaders of NDB, UDIA, and Dairy Management Inc. (which is funded through NDB and UDIA) will share goals, strategies and results about how today’s dairy checkoff is helping protect and grow dairy sales over the short and long term. DMI CEO Tom Gallagher will speak to the nearly 1,000 producers who are expected to attend the annual event and provide updates regarding the dairy checkoff’s partnership, image and export activities.

NMPF Chairman Randy Mooney will join President and CEO Jerry Kozak to provide updates on efforts to reform federal dairy policy, and plans for 2013 and beyond. Members of NMPF’s leadership and staff also will conduct a Town Hall session to provide an in-depth examination of many of the strategic issues in which NMPF is engaged, including farm policy, animal care, product safety, trade, and the Cooperatives Working Together program, among others.

The two-day general session will be hosted by Mike Adams, host of “Agri-Talk” radio, which is billed as the “Voice of Rural America.” Other meeting speakers include:
• Adam Putnam, commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, will welcome attendees to Florida and the 2012 annual meeting
• Dick Vitale, college basketball analyst with ABC Sports and ESPN, will share insights about tackling life’s challenges head-on through lessons learned from sports – and how it can apply to business situations and daily life – at Tuesday’s opening luncheon
• Stu Rothenberg, editor and publisher of The Rothenberg Political Report and columnist with Roll Call, will offer perspective on the November elections and answer questions about specific U.S. House, Senate and gubernatorial races
• Patrick Doyle, president and CEO of Domino’s Pizza, will share results of the chain’s sales-building partnership with the dairy checkoff and preview plans to help grow dairy sales
• Doug Lipp, an internationally acclaimed expert on customer service and leadership, will share insights learned from his years of training and motivating employees through his work at Walt Disney University and Disneyland

Following the General Session on Oct. 31, organizers will hold an awards luncheon to honor dairy producer and industry leaders whose efforts have helped secure dairy’s future. The meeting will conclude with a banquet featuring a performance by Laura Bell Bundy, a country artist and actress who’s appeared in various film and television roles.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for interested organizations. For general meeting information, fees and registration, and hotel room registrations, visit http://www.nmpf.org/nmpf-joint-annual-meeting. The meeting registration deadline is Oct. 5.