Fresno, Calif. dairyman Dan Souza has been appointed to the Dairy Council of California Board of Directors by Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Souza, who grew up working on the dairy farm his father started in 1949, attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before joining the family business. The original farm, Joe Souza Dairy, milks 2,500 cows, and Dan later started his own operation, Big De Farms, which milks 1,000 cows.
Souza's previous industry involvement included serving on the boards of Challenge Dairy and Danish Creamery and then California Dairies Inc., when the two businesses merged to become California's largest milk processing cooperative and second largest in the U.S.
"I wanted to become involved with Dairy Council to do my part to make sure our industry stays viable," Souza says. "My 22-year-old daughter, Adrianna, just graduated from Cal Poly and is joining the business, so it's important to me that we all do everything we can today to make sure dairy continues strong for her generation and future generations.
"Dairy Council is one of the best ways to do that because it does such a good job of telling our story, which is that milk is an incredibly nutritious product. There are a lot of products out there competing for market share—I call it stomach share—so the fact that Dairy Council is out in front educating school kids and consumers about nutrition aren't just important, it's vital to the health of the entire dairy industry."
Also appointed to Dairy Council's board is Super Store Industries' Sarah Goreham-Simon. Goreham-Simon is director of corporate quality assurance and consumer affairs for Super Store Industries, a major producer and distributor of dairy products in California.
"Because I deal with consumer affairs, I hear a lot of the negative things being said about dairy foods and our farming practices," Goreham-Simon says. "I want to help Dairy Council counter that by reinforcing the message with consumers of just how special milk is. I don't think most parents even realize it has more essential nutrients than almost any food on the shelf. It's really important to keep educating families that the dairy case is one of the best and most nutritious places to spend their grocery dollars."