Funding and Governance
Dairy farmers in the Midwest invest 15 cents for every 100 pounds of milk they sell. Midwest Dairy Association™ (Midwest Dairy) receives 10 cents of this mandatory funding for regional programs. The remaining five cents goes to the National Dairy Board (NDB) to fund national promotional, research and export programs.
Many states enacted checkoff laws in the 1960s, setting a mandatory contribution for all dairy farmers. These laws increased funding for promotional programs and equalized contributions based on production levels. A national checkoff took effect in 1984, and remains in place today. Farmers contribute 15 cents per hundred pounds of milk to promotion and nutrition education programs. The national checkoff also provides funds to explore new markets for surplus dairy products from the United States.
The board of directors, consisting of dairy farmers from throughout the region, governs the activities of Midwest Dairy. Board members are selected to division boards first, and then may be elected to the regional board. Some of these representatives also serve on the board of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), allowing local input on the development of national promotion programs. All board members represent their fellow producers in directing how funds are allocated.