BARABOO, WISC. – Cheese, butter and dairy ingredients supplier Foremost Farms USA announced that the cooperative appointed Rick Burkhamer as its new chairman of the board.
A long-standing member, who first served on the board in 1991 for Wisconsin Dairies before a merger created the current cooperative, Burkhamer was Foremost Farms’ secretary of the board for most of the past decade.
“We are pleased to announce a board leader with Rick’s experience and dedication to Foremost Farms,” said Greg Schlafer, president and chief executive officer of Foremost Farms. “Rick has a deep understanding and appreciation of the relationship between the member-owners and the talented team of employees who manage and run the cooperative for them.”
Upon taking on his new position with the board, Burkhamer shared that he thinks the cooperative has displayed momentum the past two years and he wants to make sure that continues.
“The board needs to have one voice and get behind Greg and his staff and all the employees, because they all deserve our support,” Burkhamer said. “The top concern of the board has to be caring about them and helping them all. They’re the ones who are taking care of all of us."
Burkhamer replaces outgoing chairman Dave Scheevel. Foremost Farms formally thanked Scheevel, who served as the board’s chairman for the past 14 years and was on the board another 11 years prior to that, for his dedication to the cooperative.
Additionally, Foremost Farms made known the rest of its board officers: first vice chairman Roger Hildebrandt, second vice chairman Roger Hibschman, secretary Stacy VanDerLinden, assistant secretary/treasurer Joel Eigenbrood and independent director John Machuzick.
Foremost Farms supplies cheese and dairy products to markets throughout the US and abroad. The dairy cooperative, which is owned by farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, also provides technical services and customized products, ingredients and packaging to foodservice, food processing and other companies.