William (Bill) Powell*

Mid-American Dairyman Inducted in 2012

Bill Powell was instrumental in bringing four dairy cooperatives together to form Mid-America Dairymen. He served as the first president of Mid-Am from 1966 to 1981 – he also served as the first director of the local district for Mid-Am and held that position until he chose to retire. Prior to the formation of Mid-Am, he served as director, treasurer, and vice president of Pure Milk of Greater Kansas City from 1951-1968. During Bill Powell’s tenure, Mid-Am grew into a large, highly respected regional cooperative – people sometimes referred to Mid-Am’s headquarters in Springfield as “little Madison” in reference to the state capitol of Wisconsin, the largest dairy state, due to Mid-Am’s national dairy influence.

Mr. Powell also served as president of UDIA, president of National Milk Producers Federation, and was the first president of AMPI during its organizational days.  In addition, he served as a director of the National Dairy Council, the National Beef Board, the Missouri Governor’s Council on Agriculture, and the University of Missouri Dairy Advisory Council.

Mr. Powell’s legacy of leadership and commitment to dairy cooperatives earned many awards and accolades, including induction in the Missouri Dairy Association Hall of Honors. His vision is credited as a foundation for the continued growth, stability and success of the cooperative, now Dairy Farmers of America. 

He is remembered largely for his enthusiastic support of large and small dairy farmers, genuine interest in people, extraordinary ability to remember names, and tremendous example of patriotism. Bill and his wife, Joy, farmed 2,000 acres south of Princeton where they raised four sons.

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visionary; legacy of leadership; enthusiastic support of dairy farmers, large and small; tremendous patriot; trust in the cooperative system