Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, one of the largest dairy co-ops in the country, and Minnesota Milk Producers Association, a state advocacy group, are teaming up to strengthen the two organizations’ work on behalf of their farmers.
Effective immediately, Minnesota Milk has chosen Edge to replace the administrative and program services currently provided by Midwest Dairy. The decision to switch providers followed a decision from Minnesota Milk’s board of directors to focus the organization’s efforts more on state policy. Midwest Dairy will still be a valuable partner for the groups’ farmers in Minnesota.
“We see many efficiencies in working with a policy-focused dairy organization," said Shelly DePestel, Minnesota Milk president. "We appreciate being able to remain independent while still tapping into the efficiencies of shared communications, human resources and accounting. We thank Midwest Dairy for its years of support and look forward to continued collaboration in the future.”
Edge’s policy involvement at the federal level made them a natural fit, allowing Minnesota Milk to tap into resources and grow its members’ voices, while increasing Minnesota Milk’s focus on state-level policy and giving Edge members better representation in Minnesota.
“We are excited to connect with another grassroots dairy group driving positive change for farmers,” said Brody Stapel, Edge president. “Minnesota Milk and Edge share many members. This agreement allows both groups to pool resources and amplify the voice of milk — in Minnesota and across the Upper Midwest.”
Lucas Sjostrom will continue in his role as executive director of Minnesota Milk as part of Edge's staff and carry out the vision set forth by the farmer-led Minnesota Milk board on policy, policy education and membership, with other Edge staff providing services when appropriate.