Global Dairy Symposium Recap


The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) hosted a Global Dairy Symposium at World Dairy Expo® on Thursday, Octo​ber 6, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. During the symposium, presenters shared information on trend​s in dairy production, COVID-19 pandemic impacts, economic fluctuations, supply chain challenges, climate change, sustaina​bility, labor shortages, and trade conflicts. Each speaker provided a 30 minute presentation and participated in a panel discussion moderated by the lead editor of Hoard's Dairyman Corey Geiger. View the presentation slides here. 


Meet the Presenters

Torsten Hemme – Founder and CEO of the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN) Dairy Research Network​

Dr. Torsten Hemme is the founder and CEO of the IFCN Dairy Research Network.
He studied agricultural economics at the University of Göttingen in Germany and at Texas A&M University in USA.

His doctoral thesis set the basis for the IFCN, whose mission is to create a better understanding of the dairy world by providing comparable data, knowledge and inspiration. 

In 2022, researchers from more than 100 countries participated. Moreover, more than 140 agribusiness companies are members of the network and use its data and knowledge base for their strategic planning.

Ad van Velde – President of Global Dairy Farmers 

AdVanVelde1.pngAd van Velde is a proud dairy farmer in the Netherlands, a country where many generations of farmers have faced and overcome various challenges related to the dairy business. He developed Hunsingo Dairy, together with his wife Annette, to a successful family dairy operation. A farm that is in harmony with nature, where healthy cows live and have lived for many generations.

As President of Global Dairy Farmers he knows what drives farmers worldwide. Together with the dairy farmers, GDF has been developed into a unique platform. The only worldwide network of dairy farmers. Future-oriented and forward-thinking.

With DairyNext he is able to help all businesses on the dairy chain to grow stronger and become more sustainable. His world-wide projects, both small and large, include starting up dairy businesses, improving profits and optimizing existing businesses. 

Ad has a lot of experience in the dairy business and is able to practically link changes in regulations and trends happening in society, both locally, nationally and globally, back to day-to-day practices at the farm.

Sheryl Meshke – Co-President and Chief Executive Officer of Associated Milk Producers Inc. 

 Appointed in 2014, the position caps more than three decades with the company. She holds the distinction of being the first woman to be named CEO of a U.S. dairy cooperative. The AMPI Board of Directors has announced she will become the co-op’s sole CEO effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Meshke currently serves on the boards of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, the National Milk Producers Federation, the U.S. Dairy Export Council and the Minnesota AgriGrowth Council. She is past chairman of the Minnesota Dairy Research, Teaching and Consumer Education Authority, The Cooperative Foundation, Cooperative Communicators Association and the Minnesota FFA Foundation. 

Meshke holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture from South Dakota State University and a master's degree in business from the University of St. Thomas. She is a fifthgeneration farmer, operating a hog and sheep farm near Lake Crystal, Minn., with her husband Blake Meshke, son Brent and his wife Leslie. Another son Derek and his wife Tori live in Brookings, S.D.

The AMPI co-leadership team of Meshke and Donn DeVelder led the largest investment ever in the cooperative’s cheesemaking infrastructure. AMPI also launched its Dinner Bell Creamery brand and accompanying Co-op Crafted promise in 2019. That promise highlights more than 50 years of the farm families of AMPI partnering with skilled craftsmen to make award-winning dairy products. 

In 2020, AMPI and fellow Minnesota-based dairy cooperative First District Association formed a common marketing agency, the American Dairy Cooperative (ADC), to capitalize on opportunities that provide economic returns to members. Forming the ADC expands both cooperatives’ flexibility to meet demand from current and prospective customers. 

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 market about 4.9 billion pounds of milk, with annual sales nearing $2 billion. Owning eight Midwest-based manufacturing plants, AMPI makes about 10 percent of the nation’s American-type natural cheese and butter. The cooperative’s dairy products are marketed to foodservice, retail and food ingredient customers.​


Corey Geiger - International Dairy Economist and Journalist


Known to friends ​as the Dancing Dairyman, Corey Geiger danced his way onto Family Feud hosted by Steve Harvey, Texas Two Stepped on the colored shavings during the Supreme Champion ceremonies at the 2018 World Dairy Expo and competed at the Fred Astaire National Finals where he and his wife Krista Knigge won top amateur couple honors.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in agricultural economics and dairy science, Geiger has been a member of the Hoard's Dairyman editorial team since 1995 where he has been the lead editor for over a decade. In 2018, Geiger spearheaded the effort that brought Hoard's Dairyman China to the marketplace joining its English, Japanese and Spanish editions. Geiger's award-winning book, On a Wisconsin Family Farm, Historic Tales of Character, Community, and Culture, was named a finalist in the 2022 National Indee Excellence Awards Competition. The book is in its third press run.

Corey was elected the 65th President of Holstein Association USA and served a combined 11 years on the board of directors and a three-year term on the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding. He also serves on the board of directors for World Dairy Expo where he chairs the Education Committee. Geiger served as fundraising co-chair of the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center, a $13.5 million educational facility dubbed “the Fair Oaks of Wisconsin".

Corey hosts of the DairyLivestream webcast and has spoken in Canada, China, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and 22 U.S. states. 

For more information, contact: 

Jennifer Lu, DATCP Economic Development Consultant
(608) 347-1852