NEW ULM, MINN. — On Oct. 1, 1969, Midwest dairy farmers came together to form Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI). Over the years, dairy farmers from more than 75 local creameries united with one common goal: add value to dairy farmers’ milk.
The dairy farmers established a farm-to-table cooperative focused on making dairy products consumers crave. This business model is built on satisfied customers, a multi-plant manufacturing network and dedicated dairy farmer-owners.
Today, AMPI members annually market about 5.7 billion pounds of milk, generating $1.7 billion in sales. Together, they own 10 Midwest-based manufacturing plants where 10 percent of the nation’s American-type cheese, processed cheese slices and butter is produced. Most recently, AMPI cheese, butter and powdered whey were recognized with first-place finishes in the 2019 World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest.
In addition to manufacturing, AMPI has long been engaged in the dairy policy arena, understanding the impact federal policies have on members’ farm and co-op business. AMPI remains an active and respected voice through grassroots efforts, dairy policy groups and the AMPI Political Action Committee.
Statement from Steve Schlangen, AMPI Chairman of the Board and a dairy farmer from Albany, Minn.:
Today’s anniversary is possible because of the foresight and business sense of Midwest dairy farmers who came together to form this cooperative. They did so at a critical point of change in our industry and our nation.
As an AMPI member, I’m proud to partner with fellow dairy farmers in owning the manufacturing infrastructure needed to deliver great-tasting dairy products to the marketplace from the milk produced on my farm.
Through the years, dedicated and skilled AMPI employees have been key to the co-op’s reputation for award-winning products. And AMPI’s loyal customers inspire us to approach each day with a mind toward excellence in all that we do.
We’re thankful to the co-op’s founders for the vision they had in 1969 and look forward with excitement to the next 50 years of AMPI.
AMPI is headquartered in New Ulm, Minn., and owned by dairy farm families from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. AMPI members annually market about 5.7 billion pounds of milk generating $1.7 billion in sales. Together they own 10 Midwest-based manufacturing plants where 10 percent of the nation’s American-type cheese, processed cheese slices and butter is produced. The cooperative’s award-winning cheese, butter and powdered dairy products are marketed to foodservice, retail and food ingredient customers.
New in 2019, the co-op launched the Dinner Bell Creamery brand and accompanying Co-op Crafted promise. That promise highlights more than 50 years as AMPI and illustrates how family farmers partner with skilled craftsmen to make great-tasting, award-winning products.