Ann Arbor Crowned Michigan Milk Cup Champs

The United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) is proud to announce the winner of the inaugural Michigan Milk Cup. Frontrunner throughout the competition, Association Football Club Ann Arbor have been named the 2017 Milk Cup Champions.

Melissa Gerharter, Manager of Sport Nutrition Marketing for UDIM said, “The Michigan Dairy Farmers were so excited to be able to partner with Michigan teams in the National Premier Soccer League with the inaugural Michigan Milk Cup. We see it as a great way to bring awareness to the hardworking, local farm families bringing Michigan milk to tables across the state. It’s also a chance to make athletes aware of how a healthy diet can support their performance on the field. Congratulations to AFC Ann Arbor for working hard and earning the Michigan Milk Cup!”

In not only the Milk Cup, AFC Ann Arbor and rival club Lansing United both jumped out to fast starts climbing neck and neck in the early stages of the NPSL season. The clubs split 6 points evenly on two meetings in the 2017 season.

Lansing United solidified its bid as a NPSL contender with a decisive 2-0 victory over table leading AFC Ann Arbor on May 26th awarding 3 points to the capital city’s side.

In a rematch played on July 1st, Lansing United had an opportunity to change the outlook of the NPSL season with a road result. This time AFC used its home pitch advantage to secure a narrow 1-0 victory over Lansing. In what was a stellar 3/4ths of a 2017 campaign for Lansing United many point to July 1st as he turning point for late season slide.

The Horning Family was honored as the "Featured Farmer" at the Michigan Milk Cup kickoff on May 14th

The Horning Family was honored as the "Featured Farmer" at the Michigan Milk Cup kickoff on May 14th

The first meeting between Lansing United and Milk Cup Champion, AFC Ann Arbor is the only 2017 loss for “The Mighty Oak” to date. Ann Arbor have taken 3 points from every other Milk Cup fixture in what has proved to be a dominate 2017 campaign. A perceived upset and documented heartbreaker on July 7th saw Milk Cup competitor, Michigan Stars answer a stoppage time equalizer by Lansing (1-1) with a 90+ minute winner following a physical play in Berkley, MI awarding the 2-1 victory for Stars.

Though AFC Ann Arbor sat idle over the weekend, the 3 points earned by Michigan Stars nailed the possible Milk Cup points remaining for Lansing United under the current mark of 15 points earned by AFC Ann Arbor. Late season runs by Kalamazoo FC and Grand Rapids FC could end in second place finishes, but possible points remaining for all clubs cannot exceed Ann Arbor’s current standing.

With 3 total Michigan Milk Cup fixtures remaining, 2 dates involve The Mighty Oak of AFC Ann Arbor which proves just how amazing the performance by AFC Ann Arbor has been in 2017. Having clinched the Cup, AFC AA was given the option to receive the award in Grand Rapids on July 14th but declined and instead opted to receive the award at home on Monday evening, July 17th for the final Ann Arbor home match of the season.

GM Bilal Saeed added, “As our club is excited for the opportunity to raise the first ever Milk Cup, Coach Rudland and his group have another accomplishment on the line with the match this Friday. Our guys are focused on Grand Rapids and points on the line.”

With a result in Ann Arbor’s match vs. Milk Cup competitor GRFC, AFC can secure their first ever Great Lakes Division crown and improve their potential seeding in the NPSL playoff. Saeed also added, “We’re excited to share this award with our home fans on Monday but we still have a lot to play for, so our focus is on finishing the season strong and securing the No.1 seed for the Midwest Region Playoffs. Congrats to our staff and the 30 plus men that have represented our club in 2017 for this recognition.”

“This partnership has been gratifying because it’s given us the chance to reach a big group of young athletes, and hopefully inspire them to think about how they’re choosing to fuel their bodies.”

“This partnership has been gratifying because it’s given us the chance to reach a big group of young athletes, and hopefully inspire them to think about how they’re choosing to fuel their bodies.”

Grand Rapids FC, among many other highlights to their match experience, will be honoring their two of their community’s Featured Farmers at the Houseman Field on Friday Night. AFC Ann Arbor will accept and raise the first ever Michigan Milk Cup on Monday, July 17th for their final home match of the season vs Michigan Stars FC.

In a point system decided among the 5 participating clubs, AFC Ann Arbor will be the Milk Cup Champions regardless of upcoming results in the fixtures remaining. Whether or not AFC Ann Arbor is the best club in the state of Michigan is something to be discussed by those who followed the Michigan Milk cup and NPSL Great Lakes Division in 2017. With that said, this competition was created to add to the growing love for the game of soccer in this state, recognize some of dairy industries amazing producers, identify chocolate milk as nature’s most effective sports drink and most importantly provide a credential to clubs in pursuit of boasting the title as Michigan’s top team.

When asked about success of the cup in its first year, Gerharter added, “This partnership has been gratifying because it’s given us the chance to reach a big group of young athletes, and hopefully inspire them to think about how they’re choosing to fuel their bodies.”

Michigan Milk Cup Featured Farmer: Windemuller Family

Paul and Brittany Windemuller have 4 children: Paxton, Judah, Irelyn, and Prudence, ranging from 5 years to 3 months.

Paul has always dreamed about becoming a dairy farmer and worked on several dairy farms since he was young. He currently works part time for Seneca Dairy Systems helping farmers design new barns and furnish them with the most efficient and effective equipment to help keep their cows comfortable.

He is involved in a Hay business with his Dad and Uncles and they currently farm about 220 acres of hay.

Paul is involved with their milk cooperative, DFA, as a delegate and as a participant in the Emerging Leaders Program. He is also on the board of Ottawa County Farm Bureau.  

The family purchased their farm 4 years ago and started to turn it into a dairy farm. Today they care for about 200 cows. This past February they installed 3 robotic milkers that allow the cows to be milked when they want.

The family credits their success with the wonderful team of people helping them. They feel blessed that they can do what they love every day.

Michigan Milk Cup Featured Farmer: Lindberg Dairy Farm

Lindberg Dairy farm was started by Marv and Rose Lindberg in 1980. Today it is a partnership also includes their sons and daughters-in-law Calvin and Cindy, and Wade and Jenny. Calvin and Cindy have two children, Bryson is 4 and Reid is 1.5. Wade and Jenny have a daughter, Melena who is 3.

Cindy is very involved with 4-H and the Berlin Fair where she is on the livestock committee. Calvin is a member of the Polkton township planning commission. Calvin and Cindy are also both involved with the Coopersville FFA chapter where Calvin is a steering committee member for the Coopersville FFA Land Lab. They are both involved with our church, St. Michael's Catholic Church in Coopersville.

The family cares for 200 Holstein cows and farms 500 acres where they grow corn, hay, soybeans, and wheat that is fed to their cows. 

 

Ann Arbor and Lansing Lead the Pack in Milk Cup Race

Rafa Mentzingen celebrates one of his early goals

Rafa Mentzingen celebrates one of his early goals

At the midway point of the season, AFC Ann Arbor leads all Milk Cup standings with Lansing United only three points back with one game in hand. In the chase for the Milk Cup, AFCAA and LanU have a commanding lead over the other clubs in this year’s competition.

Ann Arbor has shown depth with 8 different goal scorers pitching in during Milk Cup action. However, LanU is right behind The Mighty Oak, with NPSL National Player of the Week, Rafa Mentzingen leading their charge and waiting for an opportunity to sneak in and take home the inaugural cup. Dropping points at Kalamazoo Sunday didn’t help that cause however.

GRFC earned a 1-0 result at home against the Stars back on May 26th at Houseman Field

GRFC earned a 1-0 result at home against the Stars back on May 26th at Houseman Field

Grand Rapids FC is sitting in the middle of the table, four games in with four points. With the leadership, and stellar goal scoring abilities of Jalen Rodriguez and Anthony Bowie, they should not be counted out just yet. Following the recent 4-2 home loss to LanU, they have a chance for redemption coming up on June 24th to take home a win on Lansing’s home pitch.  

Kalamazoo FC is tied with Grand Rapids FC with four points. With four games remaining for KZFC in the Milk Cup, they still have the time and opportunities they need to make a late surge and sneak into contention. Kalamazoo seems to finally be finding their stride and have momentum heading into the final half of Milk Cup play.  

Michigan Stars FC have played five games with only two points to show for it in the Milk Cup Table. Being ten points back from the first place AFCAA with only three games left in their Milk Cup journey, unless this club wins out and gets major help, they will be re-grouping on their efforts and planning for their 2018 campaign. Stars skipper, and well-known Coach, Morris Lupenec, will look to make some key coaching adjustments in Stars’ game plan to finish off with a strong push in the second half of the season.

The action is just heating up so stay tuned as we can expect a competitive finish as the quest for the coveted Milk Cup, and bragging rights that come with it, comes to a close.

Michigan Milk Cup Featured Farmer: JEM-LOT Dairy

JEM-LOT Dairy is a 6th generation dairy farm in Westphalia, MI. The name is the first letter of each of the owners. J-john, E-Eugene, M-micheal, L- Leroy, O-Oscer, and T- Theodore.

The family currently milk 280 cows. They provide quality milk that was recognized by their cooperative MMPA in 2016.

Leroy and Stephanie have three children.  Allison is 19 and studying Ag Business at MSU, Kyle is 18 and a junior in high school, and Keith is 17 and a sophomore in high school.

The family is active in 4-H.  Leroy serves as a board member to Indiana Dairy Assoc. and Steph is a board of director for Michigan Farm Bureau.

"The farm is a great place to raise kids and we take pride in providing a quality product for our consumers."

AFC Ann Arbor vs Kalamazoo FC [Featured Match]

With the inaugural Michigan Milk Cup set to officially begin with Sunday's match between AFC Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo FC, the Michigan Milk Cup will be on hand to commemorate the special occasion. 

Ann Arbor Kalamazoo May 13 2016-1189.JPG

Throughout the season, the Michigan Milk Cup team will be selecting certain contests as "Featured Matches." The first of which will be the Mother's Day match in Ann Arbor. The Milk Cup will be giving away cowbells, posters and chocolate milk while supplies last. Gates open at 2pm for a 3pm start. 

The Horning Family, the first of three Featured Farmer families will be honored right before kickoff. 

Purchase tickets online for Sunday's match for only $8 (adult tickets; youth are $6). 

Michigan Milk Cup

The Michigan Milk Cup is a competition that was created in partnership between five Michigan based National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) clubs. The goal in mind of this competition is to crown Michigan's top semi-pro soccer team. Through the support of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, the competition as a whole is looking to highlight the growth of the beautiful game, while also educating Michigan soccer fans about the nutritional benefits of milk. Competing clubs include AFC Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC, Lansing United and Michigan Stars. The team with the most Great Lakes Conference points in matches against other Milk Cup participants will be awarded the inaugural Michigan Milk Cup. 

Michigan Milk Cup Featured Farmer: The Horning Family

The Hornings are proud to be part of Michigan’s strong dairy industry, providing jobs for the community and their state.

The Hornings are proud to be part of Michigan’s strong dairy industry, providing jobs for the community and their state.

The Horning family, now in its sixth generations as Michigan dairy farmers, care for 450 cows and raise crops on 750 acres. The farm is a partnership between Jeff and his father Earl.

Jeff manages the daily operations of the dairy, and he is committed to creating a good working environment for employees. He currently serves on the board of directors of NorthStar Cooperative, which has led to his involvement in the Dairy Herd Improvement Association and the Universal Lab Services board, which provide milk testing and laboratory facilities for farmers. Jeff is active as a county 4-H dairy judging and 4-H dairy quiz bowl coach, as well as serving on various committees of Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA). He has also worked as a township trustee and planning commission member. Jeff’s wife, Lynda, manages the books and information for the farm, takes care of calves, and serves as the county Farm Bureau Rural Education Days co-chair the County Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Chair and a MMPA Dairy Communicator.

Earl is a past member of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan board of directors, and his wife, Diane, is a past Michigan Farm Bureau Promotion and Education committee member. Jeff and Lynda have three children who are the third generation to attend Michigan State University.  All four of their grandparents, and both parents are MSU graduates. Katelyn graduated from MSU in 2014 and is working full time on the farm.

Katelyn’s husband, Joe works for MMPA as a member representative along with helping on the farm on weekends. Natalie will graduate from MSU this week, majoring in Agriculture Education and Mason just completed his first year at MSU.

Horning farms is located across the road from a large lake where the family and community members enjoy recreational activities. The Hornings are proud to be part of Michigan’s strong dairy industry, providing jobs for the community and their state.

Michigan Milk Cup

The Michigan Milk Cup is a competition that was created in partnership between five Michigan based National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) clubs. The goal in mind of this competition is to crown Michigan's top semi-pro soccer team. Through the support of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, the competition as a whole is looking to highlight the growth of the beautiful game, while also educating Michigan soccer fans about the nutritional benefits of milk. Competing clubs include AFC Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC, Lansing United and Michigan Stars. The team with the most Great Lakes Conference points in matches against other Milk Cup participants will be awarded the inaugural Michigan Milk Cup. 

Five Clubs to Compete in Michigan Milk Cup

Five Michigan NPSL clubs including AFC Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC Lansing United and the Michigan Stars, will be participating in the newly formed Michigan Milk Cup. The goal of the competition is to crown Michigan’s top participating club, annually, through a point system including all regular season matches between said clubs. At the end of the NPSL regular season, the club with the most points will be crowned Michigan’s top club, securing the Milk Cup and milk money (prize money).

The 2017 Michigan Milk Cup will include 20 fixtures (within NPSL Great Lakes Conference play). With home and homes for every side, each club will have 4 home matches and 4 away trips to secure their title as Michigan’s top club. The NPSL Midwest Region is set to announce their schedule in February. As all 5 organizations belong to the Great Lakes Conference, fans will have a great map for their team’s path to the top very soon.

Lansing United owner, Jeremy Sampson is thrilled about the new regional partnership and Michigan Milk Cup.

He added, "Lansing United is excited to partner with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan in 2017.  We have always used chocolate milk as a recovery drink for our players, they love drinking it.  We are also thrilled to be participating in the Milk Means More Cup this season, battling it out to see who the best team in Michigan is."

 

About NPSL

The National Premier Soccer League is a 4th tier semi-pro national soccer league with four regions spread across the country. The Midwest Region hosts 3 conferences including the Great Lakes, which includes six Michigan clubs. Last season, newcomers Grand Rapids FC and AFC Ann Arbor advanced to the Midwest Region playoffs where both teams were eliminated by soon to be national champions, AFC Cleveland. The 2017 season will run from early May until late July with the NPSL playoffs taking place at the end of the season (late July/early August). For more information on the league visit NPSL.com.

 

About UDIM

The United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) is the umbrella organization for the Dairy Council of Michigan and the American Dairy Association of Michigan.

We believe milk is a natural beverage that delivers nutrition, health, and true local flavor. We are dedicated to being your credible source for information about dairy foods and Michigan dairy farming by providing science-based nutrition information to foster a healthier society.

Our dairy farm families proudly produce milk in their communities using state-of-the-art practices to ensure it is wholesome and fresh. We are committed to raising awareness of the benefits of consuming dairy products among generations of Michigan residents. We accomplish this by working with health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and the media. For more information visit the Milk Means More website here.