Dairy Management Inc. is transitioning to new leadership.
DMI – the dairy checkoff program that drives trust and sales of dairy products on behalf of America’s 31,000 dairy farm families and importers – recently announced that Tom Gallagher has decided to conclude his 30-year tenure as CEO to devote more time to teaching and other opportunities.
“I’m leaving DMI, but I’m not retiring,” said Gallagher. “I’m not that kind of guy. I’ll be doing a lot of other businesses and industries, and teaching, but it’s been a great three decades working with the great dairy farmers.”
Gallagher says Barbara O’Brien, President of DMI and CEO of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, has been named by the board of directors as the next CEO.
“First of all, we have a person in Barb O’Brien who is very capable,” said Gallagher. “I’ve worked with her 21 years, she’s ready to take over, it will be seamless. Second thing is we have a long-term plan that we worked through with the industry, with the dairy farmers, it has wide support. It’s well on the way to being implemented, so there’s a road map.”
During Gallagher’s tenure, he has overseen the creation or management of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, and the National Dairy Council.
“I think the checkoff has a bright future because farmers – just like in 1983 when it was created – need to have a voice in the marketplace,” said Gallagher. “They can’t just afford to sell their milk to whoever and then have people who process that milk, who can become very successful as businesses, without an increase in sales. You can do that through efficiency, you can do that through price, a lot of things. Dairy farmers need a voice in the marketplace – DMI is that voice.”
A press release from DMI says board leadership, Gallagher and O’Brien will work on a transition plan, and that Gallagher has committed his support through the transition timeframe.