Bio: Mark is a veterinarian who has spent virtually all of his career working with the dairy industry. Currently, he works with Tillamook County Creamery Association as the Vice President of Quality & Member services. In this role he is responsible for managing all aspects of food safety and quality from the farm through our cheese making activities, as well as other products we produce, to consumer. Mark is also responsible for supporting the coop member and non-member dairies that supply milk to Tillamook. Prior to joining Tillamook, Mark was the co-owner with his wife Judy of Kilchis Dairy Services which specialized in dairy veterinary and nutrition services. Over his career, he has worked with dairy farms and processors of all sizes and scales and he would love the opportunity to participate more actively in the American Cheese Society.
Statement of Intent: First of all, I am honored to be considered for a seat on the board of ACS. I’ve spent most of my career working with producers and processors of all sizes and levels of business sophistication in the dairy industry. I’ve also had the opportunity to work on dairy projects both domestically and internationally. While my experience has been varied, much of the work I’ve done has focused on milk quality.
A basic guiding principle during my career has been to try to add value to the businesses I’ve worked with through the business and technical skills I’ve acquired. I think one of my strengths has been the ability to apply these skills across a wide range of business environments. In fact, some of the most enjoyable work I’ve done has been centered around helping to implement good business and production management practices in business environments that, either because of small scale or location, do not have vast resources available to address their business needs.
I am interested in contributing to ACS because I see this organization as an important part of fostering and supporting a diverse dairy industry. It is easy to convince yourself that our industry is rapidly becoming one where you cannot afford to participate unless you are a relatively large-scale operation. However, I believe that by understanding our industry and working with all groups involved whether they be producer, processor, customer, or regulator we can arrive at creative solutions that allow businesses of all sizes to prosper without compromising the basic rules we need to observe.
I would be excited to be able to use my background in livestock production and food safety and quality systems to support the efforts of the ACS.