Directors of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative have elected a new president and vice president.
Brody Stapel, who farms at Double Dutch Dairy along Lake Michigan in Cedar Grove, was elected president by the board at a March 7 meeting, the cooperative recently announced.
Stapel was elected to the board in 2016 and had been serving as vice president since January. His election as president comes after John Pagel, who had been Edge’s president, passed away in late February as the result of a plane crash.
The board also elected Todd Doornink as vice president. Doornink, who farms at Jon-De Dairy in Baldwin in northwestern Wisconsin, has been on the board since 2011.
Both changes followed Edge’s succession plan.
“The energy and excitement that John (Pagel) impressed upon those both inside and outside of the dairy community were contagious, and I am honored to have this opportunity to carry on that vision with the support of our incredible board,” Stapel said. “Our members are facing big challenges in areas of trade, labor shortages and overregulation, and I am looking forward to representing the real stories behind every barn door to Congress, our customers and our communities.”
In the past year, Stapel has been part of the organization’s boost in representation in Washington, including the hiring of a D.C.-based lobbying firm and partnerships with national policy-driven organizations. Last summer, Stapel was among a group of Edge leaders and members who met with 24 lawmakers and their staffs over a 24-hour period to elevate the voices of the cooperative’s members, which are spread across nine states.
In September 2016, Stapel participated in a U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance conference focused on how the farming community can better connect with customers.
Stapel and Doornink were also part of a rebranding of the cooperative, formerly known as Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative. The Edge brand was unveiled in November.
“The momentum that we’ve gained as the ‘Voice of Milk’ will only open up more opportunities to speak on behalf of the dairy community,” Stapel said.
Fellow board member Jerry Meissner said he is confident in Stapel’s abilities to lead the organization.
“Since becoming a director, Brody has continually gained the respect and confidence of our entire board,” Meissner said.
The cooperative’s other officers are unchanged. Mitch Davis of Davis Family Dairies in Belle Plaine, Minn., is treasurer, and Jim Winn of Cottonwood Dairy in South Wayne, is secretary.
The board’s open seat will be filled at a later date.