2004 Dairy Leadership Award

2004-PhippsWilliam A. Phipps

Bill Phipps was born Aug. 17, 1935 at Reeds in Jasper County. He walked to the two-room Reeds Grade School for eight years and had a perfect attendance record for his final five years. In those days indoor plumbing was not a part of the Reeds School and students helped carry in water and wood for the heating stove – and ashes out.

At Reeds School, Bill received excellent ­ E – grades in all of his classes except for one superior – S – grade. His scholastic record resulted in being awarded the American Legion Citizenship Award.

Looking forward toward college he saved most of the money he earned picking strawberries, mowing lawns, and working for a local grain and dairy farmer.

During his early years he was nicknamed Boob and family members and old friends continue to greet him with the name.

At Sarcoxie High School he was a member of the boys quartet, FFA, and a representative to Boys State.

Bill graduated from Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield in 1957. While a student at SMS he married Louella Tillock, his high school sweetheart, in 1956.

The Phipps have four children – William David, Elizabeth Ann, Angela Sue, and Marsha Elaine. All earned university degrees.

The four have presented their parents with 11 grandchildren – six girls and five boys. The two oldest are enrolled at University of California-Riverside and Washington University in St. Louis. The youngest is three years old.

Bill worked for the Frisco Transportation Company in Springfield and Joplin from 1957 to 1969 at which time he went to work for Mid-America Dairymen in St. Louis.

In 1978 he was named St. Louis/Iowa Division general manager. There he addressed Mid-Am consolidations; whole herd buyouts; joint ventures; manufacturing plant operations; and continuous fluid milk supplies.

During that time he helped develop and implement a quality milk program that resulted in a premium price for producers. The program not only helped producers but also insured quality milk for the consumer.

Mid-Am went through a reorganization in late 1990 and Bill was named general manager of the Eastern Fluid Group.

Dairy Farmers of America was formed and Bill took on new responsibilities as chief operating officer of DFA’s Central Area Council. DFA headquarters were moved to Kansas City and in 1999 the St. Louis office was consolidated with the Kansas City Division.

Bill retired in 2001 after having served dairy producers for 32 years. The changes in the fluid milk market during his tenure were astounding.

Bill feels privileged and honored to have worked for and been associated with Mid-Am and DFA boards of directors and dairy farm owners.

While with Mid-Am and DFA Bill worked with the Young Co-operator Program and the St. Louis District Dairy Council. He served the Council as a producer representative on the executive committee to the Dairy Council Board and was secretary-treasurer of that committee for several years.

The St. Louis Dairy Council executive committee nominated Bill for the dairy leadership award and Don Kullman, retired Prairie Farms executive, Carlinville, Ill., also supported the nomination.

Away from his professional work, Bill belonged to the Junior Chamber of Commerce, Lion’s Club, the Fraternal Order of Elks, and the Manchester United Methodist Church.

Bill had a serious stroke in August 2000 while visiting his daughters in California and spent a month in acute rehabilitation before returning to St. Louis. He continues physical and occupational therapy for his left hand and foot. He eats healthy, keeps weight and blood pressure under control, and receives good reports from his doctor.

On March 3, 2005 Bill and Louella will celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary. The Phipps live in Glencoe.