Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Milk and meetings

In the corporate world, barely a day passed that we didn’t have meetings. When you own your own business, you have . . . yes, meetings galore! Kris had two back-to-back meetings today in between feeding the cattle.

When he’s not meeting with contractors, salesmen, bankers, the accountant … he has meetings for Farm Bureau and our milk co-op, Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA).

Friends often ask if they’re drinking OUR milk when they buy it at the store. We sell our milk to MMPA, which is a member-owned dairy cooperative that started waaaay back in 1916. With MMPA, we are guaranteed payment for our milk. They then process and sell the fluid milk and dairy products to grocery stores, food companies, the government, etc. (So chances are if you’re in Michigan, yes!)

Earlier this year, Kris and I toured the MMPA plant in Ovid, MI. It was giant. It was room after room of generators, boilers, and milk separators. Some of them looked like they were just a joke:

It was a milk drying room – powdered milk is made by evaporating milk to dryness. You didn’t know people still consumed powdered milk? They do … here’s a giant room just full of bags of powdered milk, ready to be shipped:

My family has been MMPA members for a long time. Some things never change, like this: the milk has to get to the plant. Here’s the trucking company we pay to ship the milk. They pump it out of our milk tank and take it there.

Meetings are long, often boring, but really necessary. Know how to improve any meeting? Bring ice cream! Or various other dairy products! Just think how popular you’d be if you entered the room with a wheel of cheese. If this catches on, MMPA could have its best year ever …

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