Message from the President

Posted By: Keith Hay Industry News , Member News ,
  DPC President Keith Hay
*Mark Your Calendars for
The Dairy Practices Council 53rd Annual Conference 
November 2-4th, 2022 ,  Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington,
3900 American Blvd W, Bloomington, MN 55437


A very sincere Thank You to everyone who attended our 52nd Annual Conference of the Dairy Practices Council in Pittsburgh, November 3-5th. After a year of being 100% virtual, we were fortunate to have 83 attendees in person and another 36 were able to join us virtually. It was perhaps one of the 1st dairy conferences in the country to take the step to meet face-to-face and it was very welcomed. Our pre-conference farm tour and Automatic Milking Workshop were both well attended and received excellent reviews. Positive feedback was obtained from the conference and the Executive Board has met since the conference to analyze the information received in the post-conference survey. The executive board appreciates the depth of your thoughts and suggestions to enhance the conference and the DPC organization. Perhaps the only thing harder than a virtual conference is an in-person AND virtual conference but we did, and it went extremely well. I cannot say thank you enough to Mary Wilcox, our Executive Vice President, for her boundless energy and managerial skills for guiding us through the uncharted territory of a blended conference.

As the incoming President of DPC, I would like to take a moment and introduce myself to you. I am in my 24th year of employment for the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board. I have been an active participant of DPC since 2004 and served on the Executive board as the At-Large member for two years and the Vice President for three. I have participated in several guidelines throughout the years, particularly in milk quality, sampling and hauling. I appreciate the knowledge, skills and friendships DPC has afforded me. Many of my closest friends and professional contacts are rooted from this organization. I look forward to serving the organization and meeting those who I haven’t had the opportunity to do so.

One of those good friends I met here at the DPC is Chris Hylkema. Chris finished his term as President during the 2021 conference in Pittsburgh. In addition to his friendship, Chris has become a valued colleague throughout the years and invaluable resource to me and many others throughout the industry. His knowledge of milk is a treasured asset in his home state of New York and throughout the country on boards and organizations he participates in. We thank Chris for his outstanding leadership through the toughest times many of us will see in a lifetime. COVID limited our organization but with Chris’s guidance we persevered and look to build from here.

I would like to welcome a few new faces to Executive Board. Mr. Steven Sims, Senior Milk Sanitation Officer with FDA joins the board representing Regulatory. Mr. Roger Hooi, Food Safety & Regulatory Vice President, Quality Assurance at Dairy Farmers of America and Mr. Brandon Meiwes, Director of Member services at Dairy Farmers of America. Both Roger and Brandon will represent Industry and step into the processing and production seats on the board, respectively. We look forward to including the many years of dairy experience these gentlemen possess to further enrich our board and leadership as we plan our conferences and look to the future.

Speaking of the future, I want to share some visions from the Executive Board and what its committees have been addressing.

Membership:  As we all know, the milk industry is full of consolidation and inevitable change. With that change comes turnover and the need to educate those who will be tomorrows pioneers. Our goal is to bring these new young professionals into DPC and provide learning opportunities and surround them with the wealth of experience our current members can share. Along with traditional membership recruiting, the board is looking to strategically target new members and aspiring industry professionals with creative training, workshops and fun activities for new attendees at future conferences. Be looking for these details as the announcement of the 2022 annual conference in Minnesota draws near.
Guidelines:  Many of us who have been affiliated with the organization for many years know that guidelines were once the lifeblood of the organization. Years and technology have transformed the look of these documents from hard copies to floppy disks to cd’s to USB drives to virtual documents on your computer or smart phone. While the format of delivery has changed, the information has never been more valuable. Our task as board members is to determine the best way to get these guidelines to be used, this includes how to charge for them. We will continue to find more and creative ways to utilize our new and improved website to make these as readily available as possible. Please Note: Guideline#053 Vitamin A & D Fortification of Fluid Milk has been recently revised.  Check it out. If you are unsure of how to access the Guideline Directory in the Member Compass, please contact for a password reset or tutorial.
Learning:   If COVID taught us anything, it was that people can do way more than we expected online. We learned that even though in-person is the best way to educate, being a part of an online workshop or training can certainly be useful. With workforces hindered and the inability of employees to get away for extended training, video conferencing and on-demand learning opportunities suit many organizations. We will continue to explore ways to share our vast network of knowledge through as many avenues as possible. In short, we want DPC to be a go-to resource for dairy professionals.

The board will be convening on April 19 & 20 in Nashville, TN. We will be putting the plans in place for the 2022 Conference in Bloomington, MN. as well as looking ahead at hotels and logistics for the 2023 prospective conference location of Nashville, TN. The board is excited and energetic to start 2022 anew with what’s ahead of us and the industry.

Please reach out to me ( or our Executive VP Mary Wilcox ( if you have any thoughts or comments. We look forward to seeing you in Minnesota!