Just a few high points:
- Patrick Doyle, CEO of Domino's Pizza, talked about how their partnership promoting milk and cheese has benefited both of our businesses. He toured the Horning dairy farm in Michigan. He was a super speaker and charismatic guy.
- Jose Luis Prado, the president of Quaker Oats, talked about how they're promoting how oatmeal can be made with milk - right now only 30% of people make it with milk. He also talked about the restaurant OatMeals, which is popular NYC restaurant that uses oatmeal like people use rice - mix it with all types of other ingredients. Like cheese. Or you can make them yourself. He also joked about how he was jealous of Patrick because there are "pizza parties" but no "oatmeal parties."
- The two days of meetings just for young cooperators and issues that concern us. Great to talk to young farmers from around the country and to hear the speakers on business planning, robots, the death tax, and farm practices!
- The glow in the dark volleyball game with the young cooperator group. So fun! After one of my bumps a lump formed on my arm that didn't hurt much, but looked like an injury would look in a cartoon drawing. Ah, my athletic prowess strikes again.
|Is that my elbow? No, my forearm.|
- Being with all these other dairy farmers excited and energized about our business.
They talked all about the opportunities for milk - like why isn't there a fountain-type machine from which you can get all the kinds of milk in one machine - skim, chocolate, strawberry, 2%, whole ... instead of that crummy warm pitcher of milk they have in hotel lobbies? (Quick, someone invent it!)
While we were gone ... only one calf was born. So much for the full moon theory.
It was great to be gone, it's even nicer to be home, and I'm excited to spend the next year working on the 2013 Young Cooperator Advisory Council.
Know what else? At the meeting, when break times were over, a staffer would walk around and herd us back into the conference room by ... ringing a cow bell.
Not surprisingly, it worked really well.
***Meghan Kidwell won the Pure Michigan gift bag giveaway. Congrats, Meghan!***