As presented at the Annual Meeting July 1, 2017 in Saratoga, New York.
“22 by 22 is the objective”
Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. I’m honored to be a part of the long tradition of the American Guernsey Association.
The association carries with it a long tradition of participation in the landscape of the dairy industry as well as the national and local communities.
Before entering into my remarks, I would like to thank a number of you for making this event possible. First, the New York Association for the great work in organizing and putting this convention together. Thank you Mary and team for the excellent work. Our state organizations continue to raise the bar on conventions. I would like to acknowledge Wayne Foote and wish him a speedy recovery. Dick Whalen for his service.
Secondly, I would like to thank the AGA team for their work and effort in coordinating with the New York group. Lots of long hours coupled with a strong commitment to the success of the organization.
Third, thank you association members for supporting the organization, the breed and participating here this week.
And last but not least, thanks to the board of directors for setting the vision for the organization. I would like to personally thank them for sharing knowledge with me and over the past several month.
When I look ahead for the future of the Guernsey breed and the association, I am reminded of the purpose of the the organization.
Especially the part which speaks of enhancing the value of the Guernsey breed for the members, owners and dairy industry world wide.
The future of the Guernsey breed supported by the AGA, state organizations and its members is a bright if we seize the moment to make the Guernsey relevant again. The motto for this year’s convention is “TURNING POINT” and it is appropriate .
There are three basic questions to ask as it relates to the future of the Guernsey and the association– What’s in store for the Guernsey? What’s in store for the association? And what’s in store for its members?
Our futures are all intertwined. There is a saying that “intertwined cords are much stronger than the sum of each cord individually.” I believe that to be true for us as well. We are stronger when we work together.
We are on the cusp of great opportunities for the breed, but we must vigorously move forward with a course of action which draws on past success with a common vision and mission.
How then will we move forward. I would suggest six intertwined pathways which will provide a compelling blueprint:
1. We will continue to honor the cultural roots and legacy of the association: family and dairy farming;
- Family: We will continue support and develop our youth programs to build skills, character and leadership for the future. We will support events such as SHOWS and sales which are a key part of marketing the Guernsey breed but also bond families and the organization together
- Dairy farming: the family dairy is under high levels of pressure. We will develop and support programs which provide alternative outlets to federal order milk which significantly enhance the value of our member’s Guernsey milk as well as tools to compete. Information on best practices is essential. We will provide the forum and platforms to support this effort
2. We will re-build a strong branded Golden Guernsey consumer program. We will move the rich Golden Guernsey brand back into the landscape of the dairy retail space in conjunction with our member partners.
- We will carve out a uniquely Guernsey position which leverages the uniqueness of the Guernsey as a breed, its milk qualities, its history and the dairy farms/families who provide the milk and products. “
“22 by 22 is the objective”
22 million gallons of golden Guernsey branded milk products sold annually by the end of 2022. That’s only 2/10th of a percent of retail fluid milk consumption and as a value added premium product we will put back over $200 million cumulative dollars over federal order milk dollars back into our members pockets through 2022.
3. We will work closely with our breeders, partners and members to strengthen and expand the Guernsey herd. We will work to improve its capabilities, improve on its strengths and reduce its weaknesses.
We are not looking to turn the Guernsey into a Holstein dressed in Guernsey clothing. Rather, we want enhance the uniqueness of the breed in a way that makes it commercially strong without sacrificing its beautiful lines and conformation which are such a part of its legacy. It must remain authentically Guernsey.
4. We will actively engage our members in conjunction with our state and committee partners, through our youth programs and our GMS activities.
- We will be responsive to our members. Owning a registered Guernsey should not be a burden.
- Youth How can you not be impressed with our youth. We will expand this effort, with support of the board will provide an ambassador program for our young male members as well. As a CEO finding good people is perhaps on of the biggest challenges and the youth program has great opportunities to groom our youth. Our future leadership will come from this pool of youth.
5. We will be more global. By raising awareness globally and tying into to the global Guernsey network we can better support the growth and strength of the breed and our members. Exchanging best practices–what’s working and what’s not, plus expanding our gene pool is critical to our future success.
6. and finally, we will work hard! We will work smart and we will have fun!!!
In summary, I leave you with some final words by Thomas Edison. ” if we did all things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves “.
I believe we are going to astound ourselves! ~ Doug