The Missouri Dairy Association (MDA) has a new executive director. J.P. Dunn is taking the helm of the organization dedicated to representing dairy farmers and strengthening relationships with stakeholders and industry partners.
“I am very excited to be representing the Missouri Dairy Association,” Dunn told The Missouri Times. “There are definitely challenges in the dairy industry but with that comes opportunity. I believe there is potential for growth in Missouri and that good things can happen in the future.”
Though not a dairy farmer by trade, Dunn has an extensive background in agriculture. For the past several years he has worked full time on his own farm, raising cattle and growing soybeans and corn. He worked as a “part-time farmer” while serving as director of field services for the Missouri Soybean Association from 2006 to 2013 and as value-added and international marketing manager for the Missouri Department of Agriculture from 2014 to 2015.
Dunn is currently involved in Protect The Harvest, Missouri FFA Leadership Foundation, Jefferson City FFA Foundation, Jefferson City 4-H Club, and more.
“I hope the experience I have in Missouri agriculture, coalition building, and agribusiness is helpful in representing the dairy farmers of the state,” said Dunn.
He is stepping into a role held by Dave Drennan for nearly 24 years. Drennan retired as executive director on May 1, 2019.
The executive director of MDA also manages the Heart of America Dairy Expo, which is set for January 2020 in Springfield, Missouri. The expo — expanded in 2012 from the Missouri Dairy Forum — is the largest dairy trade show in the southern Midwest and annually draws 400 to 500 participants from 15 states. The Heart of America Dairy Expo also features nationally known speakers.
Alisha Shurr was a reporter for The Missouri Times and The Missouri Times Magazine. She joined The Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University.