2015 Dairy Leadership Award

2015-MullinsEdward L. Mullins

Edward L Mullins began his career in the food industry in 1968 joining the Schulze & Burch Biscuit Company (Flavor-Kist Cookies & Crackers). During his ten years with Flavor-Kist he was promoted to sales supervisor, sales manager and general manager. His first ten years in the industry were interrupted by his service in the United State Army. Mullins spent 15 months as an M.P. in Southeast Asia. In 1978 he joined Pepsi Cola, and spent two years in Marion, Illinois as general manager.

Mullins began a distinguished thirty-five year career with Prairie Farms Dairy in 1980 as a sales representative. He then held various positions within the company including director of operations in St. Louis, general sales manager, vice president/general sales manager of the Fluid Milk Division, senior vice president, and his current position as chief executive officer and executive vice president.

He has been extremely active in the dairy food industry, serving on the Advisory Committee of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), board of directors of the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board, secretary of MilkPep, and past chairman of the Milk Industry Foundation.

Mullins currently serves on the Missouri Grocers board of directors, as an officer of the Prairie Farms Dairy board of directors, on the International Dairy Foods Association executive committee, and on the board of the Milk Industry Foundation.

In the civic arena, Mullins has been a board member of the Granite City Chamber of Commerce and the United Way.

Nominator Gene Wiseman, executive secretary of the State Milk Board, pointed out that through Ed Mullins leadership, Prairie Farms Dairy has formed joint ventures with Hiland Foods and DFA in the Springfield and Kansas City dairy processing plants. Wiseman said that Mullins orchestrated acquiring dairy processing plants in Jefferson City and St. Louis, and markets milk for its cooperative producer members.

Amongst the multiple support letters for Ed Mullin’s nomination, Gary Aggus, president of Hiland Dairy Foods Company, LLC, wrote that Ed has displayed great leadership while overseeing all of the major fluid milk processors in the State of Missouri.

Other recommendations such as from Randy McGinnis, senior vice president and chief operation officer of the Central and Southeast Areas of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA), state that Mullins has provided the necessary link between dairy farms and consumers tables; balancing the needs of the dairy farmers and the needs of the processing and retail sides of dairy with an ever present eye on the importance of the dairy product consumer.

Steve Davis, Southeast Area Manager of Dairy Farmers of America, wrote that Mullins has withstood the test of time in proving his leadership skills in the Missouri dairy industry and even beyond, on the national level. In doing so, he wrote, Ed has managed the difficult task of showing attention to both the dairy farms and the processing side of the business.

Ed Mullins and his wife, Carla, have two children, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He enjoys reading, music and golf.