Field Representative (Northern Indiana/Southwest Michigan)

Dairy Farmers of America, Inc - DFA - Indiana3.5

General Purpose:
Provides regular personal contact and service to all Mideast Area (MEA) members within a field territory in order to: 1) Maintain and grow the MEA milk supply, 2) Ensure a continuous IMS-rated farm supply of milk, 3) Improve the quality of milk and 4) Administer MEA policies and programs at the member level. Actively promotes DFA and the MEA in the community.

Duties and Responsibilities:
Provide every member farm with the specific services, information, and assistance it needs to produce high quality milk, stay abreast of developments in the dairy industry, and obtain the full benefits of being a DFA MEA member. Promptly respond to all member requests and calls including those received outside normal business hours.
Perform thorough inspections of every member dairy’s production facility as often as required by regulations and individual farm conditions to ensure its compliance with federal and state milk sanitation laws and regulations. In states with a Certified Industry Inspection Program, maintain all licenses necessary to perform in this capacity. Take appropriate corrective action when substandard milk quality or farm conditions are encountered. Work cooperatively with all federal and state regulatory agencies.
Monitor members milk quality/component test results and provide prompt technical advice to those having difficulty earning quality premiums or failing to meet Grade A or local market standards. Advise the supervisor of those members who are unwilling to correct chronic milk quality deficiencies and provide recommendation to supervisor for suspending member’s marketing agreement with DFA. Advise members on best production practices they can employ to help improve their profitability. Perform proactive wash analysis and inspections to encourage consistent quality milk production.
Contact all MEA milk haulers in the territory regularly to develop good relationships, discuss problems, and plan ways to improve milk quality, retain current members, and recruit new members. Periodically accompany them on their routes to evaluate their milk weighing/sampling procedures. Take corrective action as appropriate when deficiencies are found. Work cooperatively with regulatory agencies and the MEA Hauler Relations Manager to ensure that haulers comply with all laws and regulations governing raw milk transport and are providing proper service to MEA members.
Alert the supervisor and other appropriate staff to significant developments in the territory that affect the MEA’s relationships with members, haulers, customers, competitors, regulatory agencies, or the public.
Keep an updated list of non-member farms in the field territory for procurement purposes.
Identify opportunities to bring value to members through farm services, coordinating farm visits and/or introductions for the various service providers.
Participate in local fairs, extension meetings, dairy promotion activities, and related events to present a positive image of the DFA in the community. Make recommendations to supervisor on which meetings to attend and encourage members to attend selected events.
Provide supervisors and administrative staff with complete, accurate, timely information - both written and verbal. This includes submission of complete documents prior to deadlines, data collection as requested, and communication by phone and email with timely responses.
Arrange with MEA’s Logistics Department for all new farm milk tanks to be checked/calibrated after installation and for existing tanks to be checked/calibrated as needed to assure proper payment to members and accurate billing to customers.
Stay abreast of current federal and state agriculture/dairy legislative issues. Make DFA MEA management aware of any pertinent information.
Provide proper care and maintenance for the MEA’s vehicle and equipment.

Education and Experience:
Associate’s degree in agriculture, agri-business, dairy/food science or related field preferred.
Equivalent practical experience may be considered in lieu of degree.

Necessary Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Possesses basic skills and knowledge gained through specialized training and experience in areas such as milking system evaluation, cleaning and sanitizing evaluation, mastitis prevention, milk quality troubleshooting and membership solicitation.
Excellent written and verbal communications skills
Ability to interact effectively with a wide variety of people in business and social settings
Good problem-solving and conflict resolution skills
Strong customer service attitude/focus and a sincere desire to help dairy producers succeed
Basic to intermediate skill with desktop computers and MS Office software applications (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, Power BI,) SAP and iOS devices.

Licensing and Certification:
Valid driver’s license with no significant restrictions or violations
Must obtain any certifications/licenses (e.g. - certified industry inspector, weigher and sampler license) required by regulatory agencies as a condition of continued employment

Physical Demands and Work Environment:
Works on dairy farms. Exposed to heat, cold, dust, noise, agricultural chemicals, machinery, and livestock
Substantial periods of driving required (20 - 30% of workday)
Occasional evening and weekend work required

Percent Travel:
80% daily travel within the assigned geographical territory
Occasional over-night stays required

Services 50 - 120 dairy producers within a multi-county/state region

Must reside in or relocate to Northern Indiana or Southwest Michigan
Company vehicle provided