February 20, 2017
Lucas Sjostrom of Brooten has been named executive director of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, and will serve concurrently as director of industry relations for Midwest Dairy, leading the Minnesota industry relations team for the organizations.
The previous MMPA executive director, Bob Lefebvre, and associate director, Eir GarciaSilva, who have 16 and 13 years of service to the organization, respectively, remain with Midwest Dairy.
Lefebvre continues to serve as Midwest Dairy’s senior vice president of industry relations. Sjostrom’s appointment will allow Lefebvre to focus on leadership for Midwest Dairy’s work across a 10-state region.
GarciaSilva has been promoted to vice president of industry relations for Midwest Dairy, providing strategic program direction and management for the organization’s 11-member industry relations team.
Both Lefebvre, of Buffalo, and GarciaSilva, of Monticello, will continue to assist in guiding Minnesota Milk, but with limited involvement in day-to-day operations. Shannon Seifert of New Ulm is also a new member of the team, serving Minnesota Milk and Midwest Dairy.
“Bob and Eir have essentially worked over a combined two decades to bring Minnesota Milk to where it is today,” says Dave Buck, MMPA president. “We will miss their leadership and expertise, but are glad our contractual relationship with Midwest Dairy will allow us to call on them for advice.”
Sjostrom has been employed by Midwest Dairy and Minnesota Milk as government and policy relations program manager since February 2016. He previously worked for Dairy Herd Management and Hoard’s Dairyman magazines, and for Holstein Association USA.
Sedgeman to fill open board seat
The MMPA board of directors has also unanimously appointed Tom Sedgeman of Sauk Centre to its board in accordance with organization bylaws. He fills the position vacated by Jerry Jennissen of Brooten, who resigned due to the potential appearance of a conflict of interest, as Sjostrom is his son-in-law.
Sedgeman owns a 300-cow dairy with his wife, Joyce, and previously worked as a high school agriculture instructor and Kraft field representative.
Buck requested Jennissen remain as a producer-member on the Minnesota Milk Policy Committee. Jennissen, Sjostrom and their families own Jer-Lindy Farms LLC and Redhead Creamery LLC near Brooten.
Following the changes, MMPA’s board of directors consists of Buck, Goodhue, as president; Shelly DePestel, Lewiston, vice president; Marianne Peterson, Pine City, secretary; and Kristine Spadgenske, Menahga, treasurer.
Directors are Kindra Carlson, Pennock; Cassandra Czech, Foley; Bob Dombeck, Perham; Patrick Lunemann, Clarissa; Garrett Luthens, Hutchinson; Roger Peters, Tyler; Craig Roerick, Upsala; Tom Sedgeman, Sauk Centre; Rick Smith, Adams; and Michael White, Pine Island.
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