Bill Blakeslee

Mid-America Dairymen — Inducted in 2010

Bill Blakeslee devoted his entire career to improving the dairy industry and to helping dairy farmers.  His achievements have been honored by his induction into the Missouri Dairy Hall of Honors and as an honorary director for life by the National Milk Producers Federation.  

 

Bill started his career working in the Federal Milk Market Administrator’s office in St. Louis.  This experience created the foundation for his career at Producers Creamery and Mid-America Dairymen (Mid-Am).  Over the span of four decades, Bill was a leader in milk marketing activities.   He was always an advocate for better milk prices for farmers.  In his role at Mid-Am Bill oversaw national Federal Order regulations and milk pricing activities.  Bill’s expertise in milk marketing made him not only a leader and cornerstone at Mid-Am, but also a respected and trusted icon throughout the entire industry.  He was frequently called upon to testify at Federal Order hearings on the local, regional and national level.  Bill provided critical leadership in the development of US dairy and cooperative policies. 

 

Bill was a strong proponent in the growth of cooperatives among cooperatives, the formation of “Marketing Agencies in Common” that allowed several cooperatives to act in unity for the benefit of their farmer members. 

 

Bill was instrumental in the development of Mid-Am’s long term strategic plan, which provided the foundation for expanding the cooperative’s geographic reach from the Midwest to the entire nation. 

 

Among the senior executive leadership at Dairy Farmers of America there are many who started their career working for Bill.  He is credited for sharing a wealth of knowledge regarding cooperatives and the dairy industry.  Bill served as a ready resource and mentor throughout their careers – long after they were no longer Bill’s employees, and even after Bill retired from the cooperative. 

 

Bill truly cared about his employees and the dairy farmer members of the cooperatives.   Colleagues, former employees, members from the cooperative board of directors voiced their support of Bill’s nomination to the Missouri Cooperative Hall of Fame.  There is universal praise for his expertise and work ethic, but most notable is that without exception they also consider Bill a friend whom they admire and trust. 

 

trusted and respected icon, unrivaled expertise in milk marketing and dairy policy, integrity, exemplary service and dedication to cooperatives