Reston, Va.-based Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association (MDVA) said it released its 2022 scholarship application for the cooperative’s scholarship program. Every year, the cooperative awards five $1,000 scholarships to students pursuing careers in the dairy industry. Thanks to the MDVA Fund, the cooperative can offer additional scholarships to deserving students.

To be eligible, applicants must be the son, daughter, grandchild or employee of an active co-op member or the child of an MDVA employee. Students must also be enrolled or enrolling in an accredited two- or four-year college or university program.

The application requires students to submit a cover letter and resume — as well as responses to essay questions, an official school transcript and a letter of recommendation — by Feb. 18, 2022. Winners will be selected and announced in early April 2022.

For an application, go to For more information, contact Daniela Roland at 814-386-8000 or via email


DAH!, a Leominster, Mass.-based maker of premium slow-cultured yogurts “that merge the time-tested ancient wisdom of India’s culinary traditions with the precision of modern methods and technologies,” said Indian-American author, TV host, producer and culinary expert Padma Lakshmi joined the company as a board advisor and brand partner. In her new position with DAH!, Lakshmi will work hand-in-hand with the executive team and board of directors to advise on the overall direction of the company, brand equity and innovation strategy, and lend her expertise to the research and development department to help craft and test new products and flavors.


Sabrosura Foods LLC, a Bloomington, Minn.-based marketer and distributor of branded Hispanic food products, announced the acquisition of Memphis, Tenn.-headquartered queso dip manufacturer Pancho's Mexican Foods Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Sabrosura Foods is a portfolio company of Centre Partners.


National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) First Vice Chairman and U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) board member Simon Vander Woude encouraged the U.S. government to prioritize expanded market access opportunities for U.S. dairy exports at a House Subcommittee for Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Nov. 17 hearing focused on trade policies and priorities.  

“As Simon outlined so well to the House Livestock and Foreign Agriculture subcommittee today, exports are essential to the health of dairy farmers and to our wider industry,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based NMPF. “New access into markets like Canada and Japan last year was a welcome first step, but still far less than what our farmers need to remain competitive globally. The United States needs to begin moving forward again with trade agreements and other policies that expand foreign market opportunities to help family dairy farms thrive and support the thousands of jobs that depend on dairy across this country.”

Vander Woude stressed in his testimony the urgency of expanding access to key dairy markets such as the U.K., Asia (Japan, Southeast Asia, China) and the Middle East to catch up with dairy competitors whose countries have aggressively sought trade agreements over the past decade, USDEC and NMPF said. He also highlighted other policy priorities significantly impacting U.S. dairy operations, including the current supply chain crisis, securing long-term relief from Chinese retaliatory tariffs and implementation and enforcement of existing trade agreements, including USMCA.

“Sound trade policy that opens doors for American-made products takes time to negotiate and the time is ripe for laying that foundation,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based USDEC. “With the administration and Congress having charted progress on many domestic priorities, now is the time for the U.S. government to take a proactive approach to tearing down both tariff and nontariff trade barriers. We also need forward-looking solutions to the nation’s supply chain issues that are hindering U.S. exports, particularly in markets where America’s farmers are at a disadvantage to our competitors.”


The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) said it is accepting applications for its annual student scholarships through Feb. 16, 2022. In April, seven scholarships worth a total of $19,000 will be awarded.

“Our members recognize the immense potential and high value that successful students bring to the table,” said WCMA Executive Director John Umhoefer. “We’re proud to support outstanding young people as we look to the next generation in the dairy industry.”

Two students will be awarded the WCMA Myron P. “Mike” Dean Cheese Industry Student Scholarship, worth $3,000 each, Madison, Wis.-based WCMA said. Any employee or child of an employee at a WCMA dairy manufacturing, processing, or marketing member company may apply.

Employees or children of employees at WCMA supplier member companies may apply for the WCMA Cheese Industry Supplier Student Scholarship. Three students will receive scholarship awards of $3,000 each, the association said.

These scholarships target students attending a college, university or technical school in the United States, or high school seniors registered to attend a qualifying school next fall. Preference for both scholarship awards will be given to candidates pursuing degrees and careers connected to the dairy industry.

WCMA said it will also select two students to receive the Brian Eggebrecht Student Scholarship, worth $2,000 each. This award, named in honor of Championship Cheese Contest Chairman and generous donor Brian Eggebrecht, is open to students attending any technical school in Wisconsin, or high school students registered to attend a Wisconsin technical school, WCMA said.

Priority consideration for the Eggebrecht Scholarship will be given to applicants pursuing technical certificates, technical diplomas or associate degrees that may lead to a career in the dairy industry. Unlike other WCMA scholarships, applicants for this award are not required to be connected to a WCMA member company or cooperative, the association said.

Applicants for all WCMA scholarships must supply school transcripts, a letter of recommendation, and a completed application form. Forms are available online at or by request from WCMA Business & Membership Manager Sara Schmidt at (608) 286-1001 or

Successful applicants will be announced in March 2022, with awards presented on April 13 at CheeseExpo in Milwaukee.


In a recent meeting, the Whey Protein Research Consortium (WPRC) said it completed its annual election of leadership for 2022. Dan Meyer of the American Dairy Products Institute was re-elected chair. Annie Bienvenue of the U.S. Dairy Export Council was elected steering committee chair, and Matthew Pikosky of Dairy Management Inc. was re-elected scientific committee chair.

Since 2003, WPRC has been dedicated to discovering and sharing whey's health benefits through scientific evidence. Through the support of its industry partners, the Rosemont, Ill.-based WPRC focuses on supporting and expanding whey protein research. WPRC said it leads a global effort to uncover and make available to its members and their customers the unique health benefits of whey protein.


The California Milk Advisory Board, Tracy, Calif., said the Spanish language section of the site is now  live and has rolled out with additional outreach in California to support messages about recycling the #2 plastic HDPE milk jug. The “Recycle the Jug” public information campaign is designed to drive sustainable behavior change across the state by addressing misconceptions to ensure plastic milk jugs make it into the recycling stream.


Dairy Council of California, Sacramento, said it welcomed five board members who are committed to elevating the health of children and families through nutrition. Appointed by California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, these individuals will help Dairy Council of California, a nutrition education organization, advance its cause of elevating the health of children and families in California through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits:  

  • Domenic Carinalli, a second-generation dairy rancher in Sebastopol, Calif., who runs an organic dairy and has been a leader in the dairy community for more than 50 years.
  • Cheryl Fiello, a former high school chemistry and biology teacher who now serves as the quality assurance manager for Scott Brothers Dairy.
  • Dennis Roberts, CEO of Crystal Creamery, formerly Foster Farms Dairy.
  • Patrick Schallberger, CEO of Hollandia Dairy Inc.
  • Hem Shah, general manager of Alta Dena Dairy.

Together, these five individuals bring a unique combination of expertise and knowledge to the board, Dairy Council of California said, providing invaluable insight to help propel the organization forward.  


Clean Energy Fuels Corp., Newport Beach, Calif., said it broke ground on a renewable natural gas (RNG) digester at Del Rio Dairy in Friona, Texas — its first in a joint venture with TotalEnergies to produce the ultra-clean transportation fuel, which will be negative carbon-intensive. All of the RNG fuel produced at Del Rio Dairy will make its way into Clean Energy’s nationwide network of RNG stations.

When completed, the Del Rio Dairy digester project will capture the waste from more than 7,500 milking cows and generate an anticipated 1.1 million gallons of RNG annually, the company said.


Shara Birchfield joined Fuchs North America as the director of operations, based out of the company’s headquarters in Hampstead, Md. According to Fuchs North America, Birchfield brings more than 16 years of experience in the food and beverage industry working for various food manufacturers. Before joining Fuchs, she held management positions with two large food companies: PepsiCo and McCormick & Company Inc.


Presto Products, an Appleton, Wis.-based manufacturer of reclosable packaging and the maker of Fresh-Lock closures, said it held a plant expansion groundbreaking ceremony in late September at its Waupaca, Wis., plant location. The 40,000-square-foot expansion will give the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant room to grow in the future and add rail access for increased production volumes. The plant expansion is on track to be completed in July 2022.


Pleora Technologies, Kanata, Ontario, announced a new distribution partnership with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Futura Automation, a provider of automation solutions for robotics, material handling, automated assembly and machine vision applications. With this relationship, Futura Automation is distributing Pleora’s new artificial intelligence solutions to help ensure end-to-end product quality for manufacturers and brand owners in North America.


Merit Functional Foods, a plant protein company based in Kildonan, Manitoba, said its new 94,000-square-foot facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is fully scaled to supply leading food and beverage customers with the highest purity pea and canola proteins available for use in plant-based applications.

The accelerated greenfield construction project, which took just over a year to build, was completed in December 2020. With construction, commissioning and optimization complete, Merit said it can ensure that ample supply of pea and canola protein is locked in to fulfill the growing demand for plant-based brands. Merit is the first commercial facility in the world with the capability to produce food-grade canola protein, a new and exciting entrant to the plant-based space.

“In just a year since we opened our facility, we’ve already doubled the size of our team, and every one of those people is committed to doing plant protein better,” Co-CEO Ryan Bracken said. “High-quality, consistent supply, increased functionality and customized solutions are what we know the market needs, and that’s why we’re here to deliver on all of the above.”


Seeq Corp., a Seattle-based specialist in manufacturing and Industrial Internet of Things advanced analytics software, said its board of directors appointed Lisa J. Graham, Ph.D., P.E., CEO, effective immediately. She had been the company’s chief operating officer. Former CEO and co-founder Steve Sliwa will remain at Seeq in an advisory role as vice chairman and co-founder.


Perfect Day Inc., the Berkeley, Calif.-headquartered creator of the world's first animal-free “dairy” protein, announced its entrance into the sports nutrition market. Perfect Day said the introduction of the ready-to-mix product line puts its “hallmark ingredient front and center, bringing consumers the taste, performance and nutrition of conventional whey protein powder but with a fraction of the environmental impact.” The products will be ushered in by flagship partner Natreve, the world's first plastic- and carbon-neutral wellness company, and California Performance Co., the newest brand from The Urgent Company.


FONA International, a developer and manufacturer of flavor solutions owned by Hunt Valley, Md.-based McCormick & Company, said it broke ground on a multi-million-dollar high-tech manufacturing expansion in Geneva, Ill. The expansion will create an additional 15,600 square feet of manufacturing space and will allow for future growth in manufacturing and storage in the future.