Sargento promotes Bartnik to vice president of manufacturing

Sargento Foods Inc. promoted William (Bill) Bartnik to Vice President of Manufacturing in the Operations Division, reporting to Executive Vice President of Operations Mike McEvoy.

Bartnik will be responsible for directing and coordinating manufacturing activities, working closely with the Senior VP of Manufacturing and Engineering to help formulate and administer policies and objectives. He’ll focus on plant operations to ensure efficient performance, high food safety standards, personnel safety, employee satisfaction and on-time customer delivery.

Most recently at Sargento, Bartnik served as the Director of Manufacturing Systems, where he identified and led many continuous improvement initiatives across all plants. He also champions the company’s involvement in the Manufacturing All Stars program to promote manufacturing as a career. Prior to Sargento, Bill worked at Oscar Mayer and Kraft Foods for 12 years. -- Submitted by Sargento

Eric Bastian is VP of industry relations for United Dairymen of Idaho

Eric Bastian joined the United Dairymen of Idaho, Meridian, Idaho, as vice president of industry relations. He will serve as a link between Idaho's dairy farm families, dairy food processors and regional research universities.

Before joining United Dairymen of Idaho, Bastian served as vice president of research and development for Glanbia Nutritionals and Glanbia Foods where he built a world-class team of dairy food researchers and innovation experts. Prior to Glanbia, Bastian was instrumental in building the Midwest Dairy Research Center at the University of Minnesota, where he started in a faculty position in the department of food science and nutrition and, for six years, led a research team focused on milk protein and enzyme chemistry, processed cheese functionality and milk protein fractionation.-- Submitted by United Dairymen of Idaho

Remembering former MMPA President Elwood Kirkpatrick

The Michigan Milk Producers Association reported that for president Elwood Kirkpatrick of Kinde, Mich., passed away on May 16 at the age of 79.
Kirkpatrick served the dairy industry for over 28 years in various leadership positions, including 26 years as president of Michigan Milk Producers Association.

Throughout his presidency, Kirkpatrick served the cooperative and dairy industry on both state and national levels through his involvement in a number of agriculture and dairy related organizations.

Kirkpatrick was elected to serve on the MMPA board of directors in 1979 and elected president in 1981. He continued to serve as MMPA president until his retirement from the board in March 2007.

“The dairy industry lost a great leader. Elwood Kirkpatrick made a tremendous impact on the dairy industry on both the state and national level,” MMPA President Ken Nobis said. “He played an important role in shaping today’s dairy industry, and his vision will live on.”
In Michigan, Kirkpatrick served as chair of the Michigan Dairy Industry Committee, was a member of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan board of directors and had served on the Michigan Agriculture Commission.

On the national level, Kirkpatrick served on the executive committee of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) for 23 years, including serving as NMPF vice president from 1983-2003.

An example of his leadership character emerged in the late 1980s when he helped lead the charge to unify the promotion and marketing efforts of the U.S. dairy industry, bringing together the activities of the United Dairy Industry Association and the National Dairy Board through the formation of Dairy Management Incorporated, creating greater efficiencies in the national dairy promotion program.

Kirkpatrick accomplished many notable successes for the dairy industry, but one of his most influential roles was serving as the first chairman of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. From its inception, Kirkpatrick worked tirelessly to establish and grow the U.S. dairy export sector. At the time of its start, dairy exports represented less than 3 percent of annual U.S. milk production. Today, exports of U.S. dairy products exceed over 15 percent of U.S. milk production.

Kirkpatrick served as Chair of the U.S. Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals & Animal Products (ATAC) and was a member of the U.S. Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade (APAC).

Upon Kirkpatrick’s retirement in 2007, the MMPA board of directors established the Elwood Kirkpatrick Dairy Science Research Fund at Michigan State University. The endowment fund pays tribute to Kirkpatrick’s dedication to advancing the research needs of the dairy industry. Kirkpatrick was instrumental in the establishment of the Revitalization of Animal Agriculture Initiative signed into Michigan law in 1993.

He is survived by his wife, Michelle Kirkpatrick of Dwight Township; daughters: Lisa (Craig) Iden of Kinde and Rebecca Waling of Texas; sons: Dean (Maureen) Kirkpatrick, Ron (Andrea) Kirkpatrick, both from Kinde and Brad (Amy) Kirkpatrick of Traverse City; granddaughters: Corey, Casey, Brooke, and Natalie; grandsons: Randy, Dallas, Sean, Eric, Derek, Nathan, Colin and Ryan; and a special cousin, Beverly (Arnott) McFarland from Bay City. He was preceded in death by his cousin, Leslie Arnott.
-- Submitted by Michigan Milk Producers Association