Speakers Announced for 2021 Dairy Financial & Risk Management Conference

The Conference Is Set for Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Registration is now open for the 12th annual Dairy Financial and Risk Management Conference, titled “Turning the Page.” Designed to help attendees manage changing markets and navigate growth and transitions, the event is planned for Tuesday, September 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Best Western Premier – The Central Hotel and Conference Center in Harrisburg, Pa. Dairy financial consultants, lending representatives, and dairy producers can register online at www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/financial-conference.

This year’s conference will help dairy professionals plan for the future by learning how to create a transition or retirement plan, protect their risks, and create successful growth strategies in this post-pandemic era. With three featured speakers and a panel of dairy cooperatives and independent processors, attendees will learn from experienced dairy professionals who have expertise in applied economics, risk management, dairy policy, cash flow analysis, dairy processing, public affairs, and more.

“With the year we had in 2020, it feels like 2021 is about turning the page and starting to write a new chapter. However, we can’t move forward without reflecting on what we’ve learned and using that information to strategize for the future,” said Zach Myers, risk education manager with the Center for Dairy Excellence. “During this year’s Dairy Financial Conference, our speakers will share their perspective on dairy markets, farm transition, risk management, and the 2020 milk supply situation and how it can shape our growth strategies moving forward.”

Featured speakers at this year’s conference include:

Marin Bozic – “A 2021-22 Dairy Market Outlook: Changing PPDs and Dairy Risk Strategies.” Marin Bozic is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. Marin’s research program in dairy economics covers dairy policy, risk management, demand for dairy foods, and economics of new dairy food processing technologies. Since earning his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011, he has published a dozen research articles, and has served as principal investigator on over 20 funded projects. Dr. Bozic is an Associate Director of Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center and the facilitator of Minnesota Dairy Growth Alliance. He is also a member of the National Program on Dairy Markets and Policy, a team of dairy economists who recently won a national award for their outreach work on the 2014 Farm Bill.

Pete Gelber – “Bringing in Non-Family Dairy Partners.” Pete Gelber is a dairy farmer from Barrington Dairies in Montezuma, Georgia. He was born in the Bronx and spent summers in upstate New York where he worked on a 30-cow dairy. After graduating from Cornell University in 1982, he started working for Ron St. John in Batavia, New York. Pete moved to Florida to work with Ron on the new Alliance Dairy in 1990 as a herdsman before being promoted into several other positions. In 1997, he began receiving phantom stock, and in 2007, he was made a 10% partner in the newly acquired Barrington and Highbrighton dairies. In 2013, he bought his partners’ shares and is now in partnership with his son Richard and a new profits partner as of January 2020. Pete’s vast experience with non-family dairy partners gives him unique perspective on how to work together and communicate effectively.

Lamar King – “Retirement Planning: What’s After Dairying?” Lamar King is a Financial Advisor and Vice President of Relationship Development at Bare Wealth Advisors. Lamar was raised on his family’s potato farm in Cochranville and received his bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting along with a Bible minor at Cedarville University in Ohio. Lamar’s role is to deepen existing client relationships along with developing new ones. He provides additional expertise in debt analysis, cash flow analysis, and farm or business succession planning. Lamar holds the Series 7 & 66 securities licenses.

Dairy Cooperative and Independent Processor Panelists – “Lessons Learned From COVID-19: How Will Growth and Membership Be Handled Moving Forward?”

  • Chuck Turner is the President of Turner Dairy Farms, a family business that his grandfather started in 1930 at its present location in suburban Pittsburgh. Their founder’s mission statement “Perfect Products, Perfect Service, Treat People Right” still guides Chuck as he leads the company today. Turner Dairy has earned top national awards for taste and quality at the World Dairy Expo, Los Angeles International Dairy Competition, and All-Star Dairy Association. Turner currently serves on the boards of the Pennsylvania Association of Milk Dealers and the Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence.
  • Jennifer Huson is the Senior Director of Council Affairs and Industry Relations at Dairy Farmers of America. In this role, she is responsible for communications, public affairs, governance and building administration in the Northeast Area. Jennifer has been with DFA and its predecessor cooperative, Dairylea Cooperative Inc., since 2007. She is a member of the Ag Workforce Development Council, an industry led group that works to provide guidance and best practices on workforce related issues and is a graduate of LEAD New York.
  • Troye Cooper is the Director of Operations and Member Services at the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Inc. Troye remembers having his first job on a neighboring dairy farm when he was about 9 years old. After developing a passion for the dairy industry and participating in the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Agriculture in 1988, he decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Dairy and Animal Science from The Pennsylvania State University. After graduation, he began his career at Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative as a meter truck operator and hauling and transportation assistant. He went on to work for Dean Foods Company as a field representative and eventually the Milk Supply Manager and Director of Dairy Procurement before returning to the Cooperative in 2012. In his current role, Troye directs the day-to-day milk marketing operations across the Maryland & Virginia operating area, establishes and monitors member/producer pay programs, and oversees hauler relationships between cooperative members and customers.

The cost to attend this year’s Dairy Financial and Risk Management Conference is $200 per person, discounted to $150 for those who are representatives of the Center for Dairy Excellence Allies for Advancement. Currently, this event is being planned as an in-person event with virtual options being explored.

For more information about the program and to register for the event, visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/financial-conference or call Zach Myers at 717-346-0849.