TAD’s season of giving is year-round

TAD’s season of giving is year-round

Return to December 2022 newsletter

TAD’s season of giving is year-round

By Darren Turley
Executive Director, Texas Association of Dairymen

The end of the year is a time to celebrate all that has been accomplished over the past months. It’s also the opportunity to reflect and plan for the upcoming year – how can we build and improve on those accomplishments?

As 2022 draws to a close, I realize that many of you may not fully know how the Texas Association of Dairymen supports the state’s dairy industry. Certainly, our primary mission, as stated on our website, is to advocate for the industry and dairy farmers in the state’s legislative and regulatory arenas.

But the fees we receive each month from dairy cooperatives – really, from the milk produced by the state’s dairy farmers – go far beyond Austin to make a difference to Texas’ growing dairy industry.

For example, we invest in the future through education. TAD endowed a scholarship at the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, which opened in fall 2021 as the state’s second veterinary school. Texas has a shortfall of veterinarians, especially in rural areas. Hopefully some of these graduates will continue to make Texas their home once they graduate.

In a letter to TAD from School of Veterinary Medicine Dean Guy Loneragan, he wrote, “One of our greatest priorities is to provide the highest quality of veterinary education to our students while putting them under as little financial stress as possible … with the help of people like you, this goal is attainable.”

In another example, TAD’s donation to the Texas A&M Dairy Science Club allowed its members to travel to Madison, Wisconsin, to attend the World Dairy Expo (pictured). In a thank you letter to TAD, club members stated, “The chance to attend events like the World Dairy Expo has helped us as a club to create a generation of leaders dedicated and knowledgeable about the dairy industry with a passion for innovation, agriculture and cultivation and because of your sponsorship, we would like to thank you for taking part in modeling this for future generations.”

TAD also co-sponsored the Tarleton State University Dairy Challenge team’s participation in the National Dairy Challenge in Green Bay, Wisconsin, from March 31 to April 2.

TAD’s support also benefits dairy farmers already producing milk in the state. Our annual gift to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service supports two dairy specialists whose work in producer relations and education as well as in dairy-related research is of immense value to our dairy farmers.

We also helped recognize John Villalba, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county agent in Bailey County with TAD’s Outstanding Dairy Agent of the Year award. We sponsored Southwest Dairy Day in the Windthorst and Scotland area, which showcased robotic dairy technology to producers and the general public, as well as Erath County’s State of Agriculture conference. At the annual conference of the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, TAD provided ice cream for attendees during a break.

On a fun note, we sponsored the food show at the annual Texas 4-H Roundup and community events including the Irish Stampede put on by the Dublin Lion’s Club in honor of National Dairy Month. We also participated in National Dairy Month activities in other Texas communities such as Hopkins County, Plainview and Stephenville.

It’s been a busy year, and TAD will be even busier in the first half of 2023 when the Texas Legislature meets in its biennial session. But we also look forward to continuing to support the Texas dairy industry and the state’s dairy communities, as well as finding new opportunities to promote dairy.

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