Source: Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative news release
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative celebrated its 90th year of operation with record earnings of $14.5 million and reaffirmed its mission to maximize returns to members.
CEO Jay Bryant announced the year-end results at the cooperative's annual meeting this week.
"From an operations perspective, we could not have asked for a better year,” said Bryant.
He attributed the cooperative's record financial performance to a continued focus on efficiencies and reducing costs at all operations from the cooperative's Reston, Va.-based headquarters to the fluid and manufacturing divisions.
"We are sensitive to the fact that our members faced a much different set of economics last year,” said Bryant. "Survival was their No. 1 priority, and we knew we had to perform. We had to do more with less to maximize profits and provide our members with an increased level of support.”
Maryland & Virginia's $14.5 million in earnings for 2009 is based on marketings of nearly 3 billion pounds of member milk. Overall the cooperative reduced its debt by $4.6 million and increased member equity by more than $10 million.
"I know that 2009 stretched us dairy farmers to the limit, practically to the breaking point,” said President Dwayne Myers of Jonesville, N.C., in his officer's report.
"Those of us who chose to keep on milking have come through with a new appreciation for what it takes to be resilient,” Myers said. "I want to reassure you that Maryland & Virginia, your cooperative, is 100% behind you and supporting you, the dairy farmer, however we can.”
"There's nothing that can take away the sting of 2009,” he added. "However, we are optimistic and focused on the future and on how we can make the U.S. dairy industry viable long-term for our members.”
The milk marketing and processing cooperative represents 1,500 dairy farmer-owners from Pennsylvania to Georgia. Operations includes three fluid processing plants: Marva Maid in Newport News, Va., Marva Maid of Landover, Md., and Maola Milk and Ice Cream in New Bern, N.C. It also has manufacturing plants in Laurel, Md., and Strasburg, Va.; and a farm supply warehouse in Frederick, Md.