At the fall 2012 board meeting of the American Butter Institute held last week in Las Vegas, David Riemersma of Butterball Farms, Inc. was elected President of ABI, and two new officers were seated.
Irv Holmes of Challenge Dairy Products, Inc. was elected to serve as First Vice President, and Dean Van Tuinen of Darigold, Inc. was elected Second Vice President. Each officer will serve a two-year term. The ABI board also welcomed new member High Desert Milk, which officially joined the organization at the fall meeting. In addition, the board elected Randy Robinson of High Desert Milk, Josh White of Hoogwegt, U.S. and William Schreiber of O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc. as new board representatives.
Riemersma thanked outgoing President Mark Korsmeyer for his service, and the ABI membership for their support. Riemersma said he was pleased to serve the industry as president.
"The institute represents a real, fresh and natural product that consumers prefer. Recent trends show that there is strong momentum in the category, and it is one that consumers are very interested in," Riemersma said.
In addition to the officer elections, Alan Reed of Dairy Management, Inc. provided an eye-opening report on butter and the changing consumer mindset. Robert Chesler of INTL FCStone's Foods Division presented a report on current events and their influence on consumer demand for U.S. dairy products. ABI's board reviewed and approved their budget for 2013 and received an update on the National Butter Promotion Program's new focus on using social media to promote usage of butter. The ABI board also got an update on the economic and market outlook, reviewed regulatory issues, received a Cooperatives Working Together program update and heard the latest news from Washington, DC.
ABI's next meeting will be held in conjunction with the American Dairy Products Institute April 28-30, 2013 in Chicago, Ill.