RESTON, Va. — A Mid-Atlantic dairy cooperative is looking to the future after last year’s 8 percent drop in revenue.

“Between the low milk prices, nonexistent margins, and the unusually wet weather, the challenges dairy farmers have faced in 2018 really took a toll on our region,” said Matt Hoff, the co-op president.

Much of the revenue decline was attributed to low milk prices.

But at the 99-year-old co-op’s annual meeting last week, Hoff said the tide is turning.

“Markets are starting to firm up, and the milk price outlook is more optimistic than it was a year ago,” he said.

The co-op was its own largest customer for the second year in a row, and it has increased the amount of member milk running through its plants.

While national fluid milk sales are down, Maryland & Virginia’s fluid processing plants are running increased volumes thanks to new customers and growing demand from existing buyers, said CEO Jay Bryant.

Hoff plans to focus on innovation and new products that can be developed within the organization’s existing plant structure.

Co-op members voted for six directors to fill three-year terms on the board.

They are Jim Biddle of Williamsburg, Pa.; David Hunsberger of Mifflintown, Pa.; Gary Truckenmiller of Watsontown, Pa.; Ben Flahart of Colora, Md.; Ricky Talley of Olin, N.C.; and Connie Finton of New Philadelphia, Ohio.

The board elected the following directors and staff: president, Matt Hoff, New Windsor, Md.; first vice president, Kevin Satterwhite, Newberry, S.C.; second vice president, David Pool, Robesonia, Pa.; and secretary and treasurer, Jay Bryant, Reston, Va.

Lancaster Farming