The Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) recognized Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) co-CEOs Donn DeVelder and Sheryl Meshke with the Outstanding Communicator Award on June 9 for excellence in effectively integrating communication into their leadership style. The leaders of the New Ulm, Minn., dairy cooperative were honored at CCA’s annual institute in Milwaukee. They are the 25th honorees to receive the award, which recognizes leaders of a broad spectrum of cooperative businesses, AMPI said.

In his nomination, AMPI Chairman of the Board Steve Schlangen, a dairy farmer from Albany, Minn., said in their shared leadership role, DeVelder and Meshke “are completely selfless and fully focused on making the decisions that set the co-op up for success.”


Arlington, Va.-based Nestlé USA and the checkoff-founded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, Rosemont, Ill., announced that California’s Trinkler Dairy Farm, a supplier for Nestlé USA’s Carnation brand, is the first pilot farm within the Net Zero Initiative (NZI).

Work is underway to identify additional partners to conduct pilots on up to five dairies. The goal is to test technologies and practices within NZI’s Dairy Scale for Good pillar. This initiative will enable farms of all sizes and geographies to advance environmental progress that demonstrates the economic viability of achieving net zero emissions, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy said.

The partnership with Trinkler Dairy Farm marks a key milestone in Nestlé’s $10 million investment and multi-year partnership announced last fall with NZI, which is a critical component of the U.S. dairy industry’s 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals to achieve carbon neutrality, optimize water usage and improve water quality.

Trinkler Dairy Farm has been supplying milk for Nestlé USA’s Carnation brand since 2014. With an initial $1.5 million investment from Nestlé, the dairy will install technology and incorporate practices that significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, with the goal of achieving a reduction of 30% percent by 2023 and to achieve net zero emissions within five years, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy said.


Boursin, a cheese brand of Chicago-based Bel Brands USA, said it is celebrating summer with a one-of-a-kind culinary experience, Glamp Boursin. One lucky winner will receive the ultimate culinary escape right in his or her own backyard, including a personal chef to prepare all meals and snacks, activities such as a charcuterie board styling class, luxury amenities and more.

Fans may enter to win the immersive 24-hour experience by visiting The website also features recipes and ideas for elevating backyard and camping experiences all summer, including a recipe for summer Boursin & Berry Medley mini phyllo tarts featuring the new Boursin Parsley & Lemon cheese flavor.


Silk — a plant-based brand of White Plains, N.Y.- and Broomfield, Colo.-headquartered Danone North America — and Gold medalist track and field star Carl Lewis (the newest face of Silk Soymilk) are passing the torch to the next generation of athletes through the new Silk Team Protein initiative. The brand said the initiative will provide the track and field programs of five historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) with $10,000 donations (a total of $50,000) to go toward team necessities such as uniforms, equipment and transportation.

Historically, HBCUs and their attendees do not receive the same level of funding compared to other universities, so Lewis and Silk Soymilk are helping support HBCU athletes, on and off the field, and close the funding gap via these $10,000 donations. The HBCU recipients will also get a live Q&A with Lewis himself, along with plenty of Silk Soymilk—a high-quality, complete source of protein, Silk said.


The Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA), the 10th largest dairy cooperative in the United States, said it recently named Tom Downey to serve as chief financial officer. Downey will direct strategic planning and oversee all financial activities of Novi, Mich.-headquartered MMPA.

Most recently, Downey worked for Alvarez & Marsal as a senior director, where he advised clients across multiple industries to help improve bottom-line results. He previously held positions with Lighthouse Investment Partners and Ernst & Young, MMPA said.


In time for Fourth of July weekend, Cowgirl Creamery’s Point Reyes Station, Calif., cheese shop and Cantina cafe will debut a refreshed look and expanded space to welcome visitors. The artisan cheesemaker said it will now have additional space after taking over the adjoining retail shop formerly occupied by local women’s clothing designer Susan Hayes.

The historic barn is Cowgirl’s original creamery and has been a food lover’s destination along Northern California’s coast for more than two decades, providing visitors with picnic provisions and prepared foods as they explore Tomales Bay and the Point Reyes National Seashore. The additional 200 square feet, called the Cowgirl Studio, will further support its multifunctional setup, offering an extension of its current shop and providing travelers with Cowgirl’s award-winning organic cheese, perfect pairings from other makers, menu items from Cowgirl’s Cantina, and more, the company said.


The Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and dairy industry leaders from across the country met in June with members of Congress to advocate for changes to several Child Nutrition Reauthorization policies and discuss the nutritional benefits of dairy products in child nutrition programs. Specifically, IDFA said, dairy leaders are advocating for the following:

1. Allow schools to again serve low-fat flavored milk in school meal programs, which is currently permitted on a temporary basis. This is consistent with recommendations in the two most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

2. An extension for dairy companies to meet Target 2 sodium levels in the School Meals Program and reconsideration of Target 3 sodium levels for particular products such as cheese where sodium is necessary for food safety and functional purposes.

3. Sensible package and variety flexibility for yogurt and milk in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) that were allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic and were proven to be effective in both increasing food access and furthering the nutritional integrity of the WIC program.

“Scientific research shows that dairy provides significant nutritional benefits to children’s health, but we know that a staggering 79% of middle school-aged children do not receive three daily portions as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee,” said Dave Carlin, senior vice president, legislative affairs and economic policy for IDFA.


IDFA also commented on a June 9 announcement by the FDA that the agency will issue a final rule to modernize the standard of identity for yogurt. The announcement comes more than 20 years after the yogurt industry first petitioned the agency to update the standard of identity and more than 11 years since the agency first issued a proposed rule for a modernized standard of identity for yogurt, IDFA said.

IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., released the following statement:

“IDFA is pleased that the FDA has finally completed the long-awaited, updated standard of identity for yogurt. Many elements of the rule are consistent with IDFA’s comments made to FDA in response to the 2009 proposed rule. We are disappointed, however, that a number of important IDFA recommendations that were sought to align with current industry practices and allow more room for innovation, flexibility and growth within the yogurt category were not fully considered or included in this revised standard.

“Importantly, the FDA has still not progressed on another long-overdue request from the food industry, filed in 2006, that requests a novel, horizontal approach to modernize all food standards developed and regulated by the agency. We are hopeful that such an all-encompassing regulatory modernization effort may allow for further changes to the yogurt standard in the near future, consistent with the yogurt industry’s interests, along with modernization of the many other dairy product standards FDA regulates.

“Modernization of food standards — and streamlining the process to do so — will allow the dairy and the broader food industry to innovate and utilize new, more efficient and sustainable production processes and innovative ingredients that satisfy rapidly changing consumer demands for unique, nutritious, convenient, wholesome and enjoyable food products.

“FDA should endeavor to act more expeditiously and transparently as the agency takes steps to modernize food standards, allowing more open engagement with industry and consumer stakeholders. IDFA stands ready and willing to work with FDA to make standards modernization a reality that all will benefit from.”


The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA), New York, announced that its board of directors confirmed the appointment of Peggy Davies as PLMA president. Effective June 11, 2021, the appointment continues for a term of three years. Davies has been entrusted with leadership of the organization in the role of acting president since June 2020, following the sudden death of PLMA’s longtime leader, Brian Sharoff.


On June 22, the Madison, Wis.-based Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and Dairy Business Association, Green Bay, Wis., applauded the Wisconsin State Assembly’s unanimous passage of three bills designed to protect consumers from misleading labels on imitation “dairy” and “meat” products, and called for quick action in the Wisconsin State Senate as well.

“Members of the Wisconsin State Assembly sent a strong message today, that consumers deserve to know exactly what they’re buying and serving to their families,” said Dave Buholzer, WCMA president. “Real dairy milk and cheese deliver superior nutrition and a taste that can’t be beat — and America’s Dairyland has the opportunity this June Dairy Month to lead the charge for labeling transparency.”

Assembly Bill 73/Senate Bill 81 and Assembly 74/Senate Bill 83 would prohibit the labeling of food as milk or as a dairy product or ingredient if the food is not made from the milk of a cow or other hooved mammal. The bills would bring Wisconsin in line with existing but currently unenforced FDA regulations defining these products, the organizations said. Assembly Bill 75/Senate Bill 82 would prohibit labeling plant-based meat alternatives and cell-cultured meat alternatives as “meat” or a similar term.


More than four in 10 consumers have increased their purchases of functional foods, beverages and supplements since the start of the pandemic, a new survey from Kerry — the Beloit, Wis.-based maker of the immune health ingredient Wellmune — found.

Kerry said it surveyed 13,000 people across 16 countries to provide manufacturers with insights into the impact of COVID-19 on purchasing behaviors. Forty-four percent (44%) of respondents globally said they had bought more dietary supplements since the outbreak of the pandemic, while 42% had increased their purchases of functional or fortified foods and beverages.

Respondents were presented with a list of health areas and asked which were reasons for buying healthy lifestyle products. Globally, nearly six in 10 (58%) chose immune system support, significantly more than the numbers who picked healthy bones and joints (46%), digestive health (43%), heart health (40%) and improved energy (39%), Beloit, Wis.-based Kerry Inc. said. Immune health was the top health benefit sought by consumers in each of the 16 countries surveyed.


Admix Inc., a Londonderry, N.H.-based manufacturer of hygienic and industrial mixing equipment for the food/beverage, chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical markets, announced the launch of a new logo and corporate brand identity. These changes come at a time when the company is experiencing growth across markets and making investments in its infrastructure and research and development. 

The refreshed logo design features a bold font for the Admix name, with one stroke of the “x” dropping down into a flow of liquid with the tagline “Advanced Mixing Technologies” framed below it, the company said. While the tagline did not change from the previous design, “the new, bold design reaffirms Admix’s identity as a leading mixing technology manufacturer.”


Düsseldorf, Germany-headquartered GEA Group AG, a systems suppliers for the global food, beverage and pharmaceutical sectors, announced a comprehensive climate strategy. With the corresponding climate targets, GEA said it is making a clear commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions along its entire value chain by 2040.

The company said it submitted its net-zero commitment and 2030 interim targets to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the globally recognized independent body for reviewing climate targets. Validation by SBTi is expected in the second half of 2021, confirming GEA’s targets are aligned with the latest climate science and are effectively contributing to the 1.5 degrees Celsius target of the Paris Agreement.


Colmac Coil, Colville, Wash., said Bruce I. Nelson, P.E., the firm’s past president and current director of innovation, will retire effective July 4, 2021. Following a 40-year career of service and leadership at Colmac Coil — a provider of heat exchangers and heat-transfer solutions for industrial refrigeration, HVAC, power generation and gas compression applications — Nelson will continue his work through his newly formed consulting company, Bruce V. Nelson Engineering LLC.


Zurich-headquartered Amcor announced its support for the launch of the U.S. Plastics Pact’s Roadmap to 2025, an aggressive national strategy for how the U.S. Pact, Amcor and other signatory organizations — known as activators — will achieve four 2025 targets. The plan delineates specific actions, responsibilities and timeframes necessary to realize a circular economy for plastics in the United States.

Launched in August 2020, the U.S. Plastics Pact is a consortium led by The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global network. The network creates a holistic ecosystem of industry stakeholders with a common strategy: to address plastic waste at its source, Amcor said.

“Amcor is committed to creating responsible packaging that is recycled and reused,” said David Clark, Amcor’s vice president of sustainability. “Our innovation is designing more and more of our packaging to be recycled and using more recycled content, but we need progress on infrastructure and consumer participation, too. That is why we are proud to support the rollout of the U.S. Plastics Pact Roadmap — which shows how cooperation across the value chain can help us solve the problem of waste in the environment.”


Leominster, Mass.-based IMA Dairy & Food USA — which offers equipment solutions under the brands Gasti, Hamba, Hassia, Fillshape, Corazza and Erca — said it hired industry veteran Hayden Turner as vice president of operations. In his new role, Turner will lead the company’s team of professionals spanning all aspects of customer servicing, including departments dedicated to spare parts inventory and fulfillment, new equipment installation and validation, repairs, maintenance and retrofitting projects for existing machines, and technical assistance issues.

Turner’s innovation-minded career has led to his holding more than a dozen patents, the company noted. Prior to joining IMA Dairy & Food, he enjoyed a 15-year tenure with Switzerland-based Sulzer Mixpac USA, where he most recently served as technical manager for the company’s U.S. operations.