Sheryl Meshke becomes sole CEO of Midwest dairy co-op effective January 2023
NEW ULM, Minn. (July 1, 2022) – Leaders of Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) have announced co-president and CEO Donn DeVelder plans to complete his time in the position at the end of this year following 38 years of service to the cooperative. DeVelder was named co-president and CEO in January 2015, a position he shared with Sheryl Meshke.
“While the co-leadership structure was not common at the time, we knew they were the right team and exemplified the cooperative principle ‘we are better when we work together,’” said AMPI Chairman of the Board Steve Schlangen, a dairy farmer from Albany, Minn. “Together they navigated extreme market volatility and industry headwinds, managing the business with care and clear vision. Under their leadership, the cooperative’s financial position improved significantly, positioning the company for the future.”
Moving forward, the board of directors announced Meshke will continue as president and CEO. She joined AMPI in 1991 and during her tenure led communications, public affairs, human resources and strategic planning. Before becoming co-CEO, she was the executive senior vice president leading strategic initiatives to strengthen the cooperative’s performance and value.
Meshke holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from South Dakota State University and a master’s degree in business from the University of St. Thomas. She is a fifth-generation farmer, operating a hog and sheep farm near Lake Crystal, Minn., with her husband Blake Meshke, son Brent and his wife Leslie. Another son Derek and his wife Tori live in Brookings, S.D.
“We are excited for what is to come and know Sheryl’s leadership will be critical in achieving continued success for AMPI member-owners and employees,” Schlangen said. “We know we are all better when we work together.”
AMPI is headquartered in New Ulm, Minn., and owned by dairy farm families from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. The cooperative’s award-winning cheese, butter and powdered dairy products are marketed to foodservice, retail and food ingredient customers. The co-op launched its Dinner Bell Creamery brand and accompanying Co-op Crafted promise in 2019, highlighting more than 50 years of dairy farm families partnering with skilled dairy craftsmen to make great-tasting, award-winning products. AMPI members annually market about 4.9 billion pounds of milk generating $1.6 billion in sales.
AMPI Co-Presidents and CEOs Sheryl Meshke and Donn DeVelder have led the co-op as a team since 2015. Effective Jan. 1, 2023, Meshke will become the co-op's sole CEO.