Lucas Lentsch, South Dakota secretary of agriculture, has been named the new CEO of the Midwest Dairy Association, a non-profit organization which manages dairy farmer checkoff funds in a 10-state region,
Lentsch will begin working for the MDA in mid-April
He’s replacing MDA’s current CEO Mike Kruger, who is retiring in July.
“We’re excited about this new chapter for our organization,” said Jerry Messer, a Richardton, N.D., dairy producer and MDA chairman. “We are looking forward to a seamless transition from Mike Kruger’s legacy of leadership to a new perspective from Lucas Lentsch.”
Lentsch was selected by a search committee of 12 dairy farmers from across MDA’s geography and was approved by the organization’s 34 dairy farmer board members who serve at the corporate level. Kincannon & Reed, an executive search firm, assisted MDA in the recruitment of Lentsch.
Lentsch, a Veblen, S.D., native, was raised on a family dairy farm and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in dairy manufacturing from South Dakota State University. He has served as South Dakota’s secretary of agriculture since 2013.
“It has been an honor serving as secretary of agriculture for South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers, and I am now looking forward to serving the more than 8,000 dairy farm families of Midwest Dairy Association,” Lentsch said in a statement. “As a passionate advocate for agriculture, I am excited to lead the team of Midwest Dairy Association forward as their CEO.”