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Paynesville Press - November 26, 2003

AMPI wins national awards

By Michael Jacobson

Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI), a dairy co-operative with a cheese plant in Paynesville, has earned top national awards for its cheese and member communications efforts.

The awards were presented by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) at its annual meeting held in New Orleans.

"These awards illustrate what AMPI members have long recognized," said AMPI general manager Mark Furth. "We're making some of the best dairy products in the country, while placing a high priority on shareholder communication."

AMPI cheddar cheese was awarded "Best of Class" in the American varieties category of the 2003 NMPF Cheese Contest. The cheese - made at AMPI's plant in Blair, Wis. - was the top entry in the medium cheddar category. AMPI also captured the first-place award in the mild cheddar judging. The 2003 NMPF Outstanding Communicator of the Year Award was presented to Sheryl Doering Meshke, AMPI's communications and government relations director. This is the third year Meshke has received the award that recognizes overall excellence in advancing the interests and objectives of America's dairy farmers. She has managed AMPI's communications and government relations programs for more than 12 years.

AMPI's member communications publication, the Dairymen's Digest magazine, earned first place in NMPF's annual communications contest. The cooperative's entries in the categories of photography, publication cover design, public relations campaigns, and speech writing also received first place awards. The entry in the speech writing category was named "Best of Class."

AMPI is a dairy marketing co-operative with 4,400 member farms in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, South Dakota and North Dakota that annually market more than five billion pounds of milk. Members own 14 manufacturing plants and market a full line of consumer-packaged dairy products. For more information about AMPI, visit the co-operative's website at

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