On September 21, 1920 Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Inc. started thanks to an impassioned group of dairy farmers determined to supply consumers in our nation’s capital with farm-fresh milk. They staked their claim on high quality standards and proximity to the market. The first decade was harsh, and the cooperative nearly folded. But those farmers didn’t quit, they put their heads together and found a path forward.
In honor of its 100th Anniversary, Maryland & Virginia has established the MDVA Fund, a formal entity that will continue the cooperative’s charitable efforts, and it has seeded the fund with a $10,000 contribution from the organization’s operating budget.
“Everything that we are today, the benefits and opportunities that we have had are due to the investments, the vision and the fortitude that previous boards of directors, management and staff have executed in the past,” said CEO Jay Bryant.
“We have marveled at the initiative and ingenuity of our members these last several months to get fresh milk into the hands of those that need it most. From connecting members with feeding programs to our own Maola facilities and dairy checkoff grant opportunities, we have seen more product donation events and new relationships established with organizations dedicated to feeding those in need around our milkshed than ever before. That energy, that spirit of farmers feeding families, is what the MDVA Fund is all about.”
The MDVA Fund is built on the foundation of the cooperative’s existing scholarship fund. This fund was established thanks to generous donations from Maryland & Virginia’s Board of Directors, Leadership Council members, staff members and strategic industry partners to award scholarships beyond the cooperative’s annual commitment of five $1,000 awards.
Going forward the MDVA Fund will support the sustainable development of the communities in which Maryland & Virginia operates. That goes beyond scholarships to include sponsorships and product donations for dairy industry events, programs and organizations that share Maryland & Virginia’s mission of supporting our local communities.