Message from the President

Member News ,

Christopher Hylkema, President

I have been a member of the Dairy Practices Council for more than 15 years.  In 2018, at the conclusion of the 49th Annual Conference I officially took the seat of President. Except for some more obvious things, like the birth of my children, I could not have been prouder. In January 2019, the Executive Board began planning for our 50th Annual Conference and the process of finding a new Executive Vice President to replace Steve Murphy, who had announced he would be retiring.  
2019 was a very busy year for the DPC Executive Board. We were incredibly fortunate that Mary Wilcox found our organization and was hired as our new EVP in time to attend the 50th Annual Conference to be ready to take over in January 2020.  Mary has far exceeded any of our expectations and shows a passion for DPC that is usually displayed by members that have been involved far longer. The 50th Annual Conference of the Dairy Practices Council held in Portland, ME was a shining moment for this great organization. At the end of the 50th AC we took a step back and said “Whew, what a year, glad we got through that.   Now it’s time to move this organization forward.”
Then, 2020 came to be.  No one could have predicted what was to happen next. As we watched the domino effect of business conferences being cancelled daily, the DPC Executive Board knew that we would be tasked with making some really difficult decisions. Like all other conferences, DPC was forced to pivot and move the 51st Annual Conference to a virtual format. Although all of us would much rather meet in person, the DPC Executive Board has put together a great conference agenda with excellent speakers and offerings that will appeal to our members and potential new members so be sure to share the event with your colleagues and acquaintances. 
I believe that our industry has taken this crisis head on and has lived by the mantra, “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome”. As President, I feel that we have done just that.  The board truly believes that the decisions made were in the best interest of protecting our members and this organization.
Late last year, we sent out a survey to the DPC membership to gather feedback on how to move this organization forward. Topics included access to guidelines/information, steps to ensure a sustainable future for our organization, and types of information DPC should provide. You responded and the Executive Board listened. You are now reading this article from our new digital DPC home.  In all the chaos that has been 2020, we have been able to find a silver lining. This upgrade allows greater access to Guidelines for members, more transparency in making purchases and maintaining memberships, and enhanced communication and on-line training opportunities. Annual Conference sponsors are now front and center on the home page.  Along with the new look, the site also contains a management system which streamlines purchasing and accounting activities and helps keep member information current across accounting and communication databases.  These functions will reduce the likelihood for errors/outdated information and will save administrative time which will free up the EVP to focus on dissemination of educational information and promotion of this great organization.
We hope you like what you see.  Please reach out to Mary Wilcox (evp@dairypc.org) or myself (Christopher.hylkema@agriculture.ny.gov) if you have questions or additional thoughts.  We will share more about the website during the Annual Conference and will be conducting another member survey after conference to find out what kinds of information would be most beneficial moving forward.  Thank you for your continued support.  We look forward to reconnecting on November 4-6th.