The relationship between U.S. dairy producers and veal producers took a big step forward recently when the American Veal Association became an associate member of the National Milk Producers Federation, while NMPF reciprocated by joining the AVA.
Because veal production is separate from, but linked to dairy farming, the two organizations decided that they should have a stronger relationship through membership in each other's respective organizations.
"Many of the animal health issues that we deal with regularly at NMPF are also issues of interest to the veal sector, ranging from animal identification to biosecurity," says Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF. "It just makes sense that we need to have a more cooperative relationship with veal producers in the future."
The AVA is made up of an eight-person board representing the packing, feed, producer, and other related sectors of the $1.2 billion veal industry. The special-fed veal industry contributes $350 million to the dairy industry through purchases of dairy by-products and calves.
There are seven primary veal producing states: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
AVA's Executive Vice President, Bryan Oedzes, says, "The American Veal Association is proud to have joined the NMPF family. Through a meeting held in January, both organizations realized that we share many areas of common interest. In addition, we feel there is a great opportunity to work on educational programs with NMPF members. The quality bull calves that the NMPF members care for and sell to our industry are the cornerstone of our producers' success. We look forward to working with NMPF throughout this year."