The Midwest Dairy Association (MDA), which manages state checkoff funds for 10 Midwest states, announced this afternoon that it has named Lucas Lentsch as its new CEO.
Mike Kruger, the current CEO, will retire July 1 after 35 years of service to the organization.
Lentsch will join in mid-April to ensure a smooth transition. Lentsch is currently serving as South Dakota’s secretary of agriculture under Gov. Dennis Daugaard. Prior to his appointment as Secretary of Agriculture in 2013, Lentsch was director of ag development for South Dakota. Before that, he spent more than 10 years in business and community development in the northeast quadrant of the state. He grew up on a dairy farm, and has a degree in dairy manufacturing from South Dakota State University.
Lentsch will play a key role in MDA’s effort to help the Midwest re-capture and grow market share of growing consumer dairy sales, say MDA leaders.
Kruger assumed the leadership role of the American Dairy Association of Minnesota, MDA’s predecessor organization, in 1985. He had been its assistant manager for the five preceding years.
The Midwest Dairy Association manages 10¢ of the 15¢/cwt dairy checkoff funds for Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. But it also contributes some of the “middle nickel” back to national dairy checkoff programs when those programs support Midwest regional efforts. For more information, go to: www.midwestdairy.com.