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Mike McCloskey is Co-Founder and CEO of Select Milk Producers, the sixth largest milk cooperative in the country. He is also Chairman of the Board for Fair Oaks Farms, a highly rated and visited agritourism destination in Northwest Indiana which also brands and processes its own bottled milk, gourmet cheese and ice cream. McCloskey’s home dairy is Fair Oaks Dairy Farms, also in Northwest Indiana, which milks 15,000 cows living in free-stall barns and is recognized as being the leading dairy in the U.S. from many perspectives. Fair Oaks Dairy Farms harvest their cow manure and through digesters create more than enough electricity to power all of their farms as well as creating bio-based CNG to fuel 42 milk trucks and thus removing 70 million diesel miles annually.
McCloskey founded and serves as the acting Chairman of Southwest Cheese Company, a joint venture between Glanbia Foods, Dairy Farmers of America and Select Milk Producers. In 2005, Southwest Cheese Company opened as $230 million cheese plant located in Clovis, New Mexico. It employs 260 people, receives 10 million pounds of milk per day and annually produces 250 million pounds of cheese. It is the largest cheddar cheese plant in the world.
Another strategic initiative McCloskey leads is to create proprietary value-added dairy products. In this regard, McCloskey had been instrumental in the invention of patented milk processing & dispensing systems owned by Select and its affiliate, Fair Oaks Farms Brands. Products such as Mootopia, a high protein, low sugar, lactose free milk that is sold by Texas-based HEB and Select’s privately owned Core Power, a specially formulated athletic drink are among Fair Oaks Farms Brands notable achievements. Currently, Fair Oaks Farms Brands is providing a low-sugar, flavored milk to the renowned Elsie Whitlow Stokes Charter School in Washington, D.C. Through the use of its patented concentrating and dispensing machines, Fair Oaks Farms Brands is helping Elsie Whitlow, as well as the United States Armed Forces, deliver a healthier product while significantly lowering the carbon footprint of milk distribution.
McCloskey was awarded his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1976 from the University of Mexico, after which he completed a two-year post-doctoral study in Dairy Production Medicine at the University of California, School of Veterinary Medicine, in Davis, California. McCloskey is a Board Member and Officer of the National Milk Producers Federation, Chairman of the Sustainability Initiative of the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy, and is the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine.