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I belong to... DFA: Lee Mayer

PD Staff Published on 20 July 2011

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Location: Newberry, South Carolina

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Age: 64

My dairy’s history: The dairy was started by my father in 1949. My brother Elliott and I joined when we were grown, and now my son, Scott, and Elliott’s son, Gary, have joined the operation, as well. Gary’s son will be joining us shortly.

If I wasn’t a dairyman, I would be ... some other type of farmer, because I like the outdoors.

I have been a member of DFA for … 18 years.

I joined DFA because ... the number of members gives us the ability to have a voice in making industry decisions. I also like the services provided and that the members are the owners of the co-op.

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My favorite DFA representative/friend is ... Jamie Cantrell, my field man. He is knowledgeable about the dairy industry and always helps to alleviate any problems we might have.

What DFA does best is ... they care about their members. The president, Rick Smith, is a member person, and that is the most important thing, I think. They also keep members informed through newsletters, milk check updates and the DFA Today report that I use every morning.

I feel valued as a member when ... I have a voice in decisions that are made by the co-op. I have pride in being a member because I know I have a voice.

An influential person whom I’ve met through DFA is ... Jim Hahn (vice president of administration and member services).

He or she is helpful/influential because ... I like the positive mindset that Jim has demonstrated. He realizes the importance of being a member-based co-op, and he cares about the struggles that we members have.

My worst struggle in dairying is/was ... 2009.

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I hope my dairy legacy is ... developing a family that is dedicated to dairying for many years to come.

If I were running DFA, I would ... not even wish that on myself.

My advice to all dairymen is ... as dairymen, we need to keep an optimistic outlook. This is a rewarding way of life. PD

Dairy Farmers of America
10220 N Ambassador Dr
Kansas City, MO 64153
1-888-DFA-MILK
www.dfamilk.com

Year organized............................1998
Members.....................................16,000
Lbs of milk produced...................63 billion
Number of processing facilities...27
Number of employees.................3,000

Products:
Milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, etc.

Private-labels owned
Keller’s Creamery brands, Borden Cheese, Cache Valley Cheese, Borden Butter, Hotel Bar Butter, Breakstone’s Butter, Plugra European Style Butter and Sport Shake.

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