The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog: Market Analysis, Research & News

  • Travelogue: DMI board members examine U.S. Dairy's No. 1 market -- Mexico (many photos)

    By Mark O'Keefe October 23, 2019

    As five dairy farmers continue a governance mission to Mexico, they file updates on social media, with this day-by-day travelogue rounding up their best posts.

    When it comes to win-win dairy trading relationships, it’s hard to top the partnership between the United States and Mexico, our "número uno" export market, worth $1.4 billion last year, with no other country close.  

    Five Dairy Management Inc. board members, all U.S. dairy farmers, are on a six-day trip (October 20-25) to Mexico building relationships and gaining insights into what has been and what is expected to remain a vital market for the milk U.S. dairy farmers produce and the products and ingredients dairy suppliers export.


    Mexico farmers cropped CLOSEUP shot  0235

    Five Dairy Management Inc. board members, all dairy farmers, pose in Torreón Tuesday on a dairy farm owned by Lala, the largest dairy processor in Mexico. Standing left to right are Kathleen Skiba, Marilyn Hershey, Chace Fullmer, Evan Hillan and Larry Hancock. For mini-bios of the board members, scroll to the bottom of this page.


    Over the years, farmer "missions" sponsored by the U.S. Dairy Export Council have given DMI board members the opportunity to examine how dairy checkoff dollars are being spent and to see with their own eyes what farmers are getting for their financial support of USDEC.

    Get same-day reports on social media

    In years past, farmers gave presentations about their findings to dairy groups after the trip. That still happens.

    What's new, beginning with last year's mission to Tokyo and Hong Kong, is that USDEC has turned farmers into embedded reporters sharing on social media what they see and learn the day they experience it.

    About this updating travelogue

    What follows is a one-stop travelogue, displaying in reverse chronological order social media posts by the dairy farmers themselves along with photos and other information from USDEC.

    We urge others in the dairy industry to follow and share these reports on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching for the hashtag #USfarmersMexico and checking the roundup on this page for daily updates. 



    Friday, October 25


    Thursday, October 24


    Wednesday October 23




    Tuesday, October 22

    Mexico 194

    Mexico 186

    The group had an opportunity to tour the research and innovation center and UHT plant of Lala, the largest dairy processor in Mexico and among the largest in the world. Participants heard that it takes up to two years to develop new products from concept to sales.

    Mexico 214

    Participants went on a personal tour of one of Lala's many dairy farms.

    Mexico 220

    Kathleen Skiba, dairy farmer from Minnesota, admires the farm's rotary milking parlor, shown below.

    Mexico 224

    Mexico 236 (2)

    Touring the Lala plant and dairy farm gave the participants a better understanding of Mexico's milk production potential. 



    Monday, October 21

    Mexico  154

    Larry Hancock, right, newly elected chairman of U.S. Dairy Export Council, joined Mexican dairy farmers and processors Monday in a wide-ranging discussion on topics facing both the U.S. and Mexican dairy industries, including sustainability and animal welfare. Keith Muirfield, CEO of United Dairymen of Arizona, is shown at left.


    Mexico  131

    DMI Chair Marilyn Hershey, left, participated in a discussion with Mexican dairy farmers, as did John Wilson, corporate vice president of marketing and planning at Dairy Farmers of America; John Dardis, senior vice president of U.S. corporate affairs at Glanbia, and Sue Taylor, vice president of dairy economics and policy at Leprino Foods.



    lalaMission participants heard a presentation from the chief executive officer of Lala, Mexican’s largest dairy processor and one of the largest in the world.  Some of Lala’s products are shown here.


    Mexico  0171 (outside) (3)

    Attending the meeting were representatives of the organizations of milk producers and the dairy processors of the United States and Mexico: NMPF, USDEC, ANGLAC, CNOG and CANILEC. They addressed a variety of topics, including the joint promotion of activities that increase dairy consumption in Mexico.



    Sunday, October 20

    Mark O'Keefe is vice president of editorial services at the U.S. Dairy Export Council. 

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    The U.S. Dairy Export Council fosters collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to enhance global demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients. USDEC is primarily supported by Dairy Management Inc. through the dairy farmer checkoff. How to republish this post.  

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