Friday, November 16, 2018
 Minnesota Dairy Farmer to Chair Foremost Farms USA  

David Scheevel, a dairy producer from Preston, Minn., has been elected chairman of Foremost Farms USA. Scheevel, 49, has been on the board for over ten years, holding a variety of leadership positions including second vice chair and secretary/treasurer. He has also been a member of the board’s personnel committee.

Former chairman Edward Brooks, 66, indicated he would not seek another term as chairman earlier this month after winning the Republican primary race for Wisconsin’s 50th Assembly District. Brooks has been chairman of Foremost Farms and its predecessor, Wisconsin Dairies Cooperative, for 18 years.

Brooks has been a member of the National Milk Producers Federation board and previously served on the board of Land O’Lakes and the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives, where he was chairman until 2006. He has been involved in the leadership of cooperatives for over 30 years and has advocated cooperative and farm issues at the state and federal levels.

“This is a big change, but the time was right. I am involved in the State Assembly race and I think as we reorganize this board, one has to make a commitment for a full year. I could not do that so I have stepped down as chair,” explained Brooks.

Brooks continues to serve on the board and was elected this week to the board’s executive committee.
Brooks grew up on a farm and graduated from UW-Madison, College of Agriculture, with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. He has worked for USDA’s Farmer’s Home Administration and the Production Credit Association of Madison (PCA) and was also in the U.S. Army Reserve. Ed and his wife, Barbara, live in rural Reedsburg. They have three children and five grandchildren.

“Ed has been instrumental in the formation and success of Foremost Farms USA,” said Dave Fuhrmann, Foremost Farms president. “He has been an exceptional representative of this cooperative for over 18 years. Beyond that, Ed is a true gentleman and an extraordinary human being. His contribution to this cooperative is nothing short of remarkable.”

Fuhrmann said he is looking forward to working closely with Scheevel. “Dave has already demonstrated his ability to lead. He faces real challenges because decisions in the dairy industry are not getting any easier. I anticipate a smooth transition,” said Fuhrmann.

Scheevel is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a bachelor’s degree in farm management. He is chairman of the Minnesota Dairy Leaders Roundtable and is also a member of the Southeast Minnesota Ag Alliance, the Minnesota Council of the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives and Minnesota Association of Cooperatives (WFC-MAC). He is a member of the Minnesota Milk Producers. Scheevel and his wife, Kathy, have two children and one grandchild.

“I am humbled that my fellow board members chose me to be their chairman and look forward to working with them and our management team to keep Foremost Farms a financially strong, competitive and respected player in the dairy industry,” said Scheevel. “I am succeeding an excellent, well-respected chair in Ed Brooks. I want to facilitate good board discussions and decision-making so we are poised to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

“These are challenging times in the dairy industry with escalating costs and uncertainty. At the same time, they are exciting times with the emergence of international markets, milk supply growth in the Midwest and Mideast, and growth in demand for finished products from this part of the U.S. I believe Foremost Farms USA is in an excellent position to both meet and be a major player in these changing markets.”

Operating since Jan. 1, 1995, Foremost Farms USA, Baraboo, Wis., Foremost Farms USA is among the top ten dairy cooperatives in the U.S., based on milk volume. The cooperative operates 19 manufacturing facilities and two milk transfer station for its 2,300 dairy farmer-members in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Foremost Farms employs 1,400 people.

Source: Foremost Farms USA


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