California/Arizona DairyBusiness


California Department of Food and Agriculture, (CDFA) recently conducted nomination procedures in order to receive industry input for filling four of the 12 producer positions and four of the twelve handler positions on the Dairy Council of California board of directors.

CDFA received the exact number of nominations as available positions and so no preference voting by the industry was required. Based on the nominations submitted, CDFA has appointed the following individuals to serve new terms on the Dairy Council. All terms end in October 2013.

Producer Members – Brad Scott, San Jacinto; Jim Quist, Fresno; Andy Rynsburger, Strathmore; Chris Sawyer, Waterford. All were reappointed.

Handler Members – Laura Burns, Kraft Foods, and  Kimberly Clauss, Hilmar Cheese Co., were both new appointments to the board. Jeff Foster, Foster Farms Dairy; and Mike Newell, H.P. Hood LLC, were both reappointed to the board.

Clauss, a third-generation dairy producer on both sides of her family, oversees the day-to-day management of her family’s dairy business, Clauss Dairy Farms in Hilmar, Calif., and is also one of the family owners of the Hilmar Cheese Company. Clauss and her family recently expanded their dairy operation by starting farming operations in Dalhart, Texas under the name CDF Dalhart. They are also part of the Dalhart Heifer Ranch with six other families. She earned an agribusiness degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

“Children are the key to the future in dairy consumption. If kids enjoy dairy products and are educated along with their parents on the benefits, they will continue to consume dairy over their lifetime,” said Clauss. “Dairy Council’s nutrition education programs educate our children and I look forward to continuing my family’s long history of involvement with the organization.”

Burns career in the dairy industry began more than 20 years ago after graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in chemical engineering.  Today Burns serves as plant manager at Kraft in Tulare, Calif. Before Kraft, Burns worked with such companies as Nestle Ice Cream and Haagen-Dazs.

National Dairy Producers Organization formed

Gary Genske and Doug Maddox combined to form the National Dairy Producers Organization (NDPO) in an effort to bring all dairy producers together under one organization and work for long-term stability in the industry.

Other members of the organizing committee include: Arden Tewksbury, Meshoppen, Pa.; Bill Rowell, Highgate, Vt.; David Fitch, West Winfield, N.Y.; Pete DeHaan, Salem, Ore.; Pete Hoekstra, Texas; Paul Rozwadowski, Stanley, Wis.; Robin Berg, Darllington, Wis.; Glen Brown, Coalville, Utah; and Loren Olsen, Hutchison, Minn.

NDPO’s six-point mission statement would:

(1) Secure involvement of every dairy producer in America to unite in one common voice for the benefit of the diary producer and long term sustainability of the entire industry.

(2) Raise and maintain a $2 million annual budget for NDPO to immediately impact the income of every dairy producer in the US. An ever expanding level of power and influence must be brought to bear within the industry and at all levels of government to level the playing field and secure needed change. Numbers, combined with money, are the minimum tools to fight those battles.

(3) Insure we reach all 55,000 dairy producers in America. To reach that goal, NDPO will organize five producer/delegates and two alternates from every dairy state. These delegates will then select a state chair person, vice chair and secretary and begin recruiting county delegates to provide a NDPO structure in each of the dairy producing counties in America. The county delegates working with state delegates will meet with each of the dairy producers in that county. Delegates will take full responsibility to enroll every producer in their county and state to help strengthen the voice of the organization.

(4) Short-term and long-term agendas were developed by the organizing committee and state delegates during NDPO’s first semi-annual conference held in Madison, Wisc., Sept. 28-30, 2010. Agenda items included organizational structure, bylaws, officers, and other issues as were designated by the producer/delegates. The next NDPO meeting will be held during World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif., Feb. 8-10, 2011.

(5) With our voice growing louder by the day, we will immediately begin to impact the price of milk paid to producers by focusing greater attention and resolution on the development of a true milk supply management program, restructuring the national pricing formula, and developing proper language and legislation that will prohibit the unnecessary importation of dairy products.

(6) Give notice to the entire dairy industry that no longer will anyone speak for dairy producers except dairy producers. Begin meeting with each dairy organization, co-op, processor and the retail industry to establish change and resolve the continuing problems that exist in the U.S. dairy industry. The message: Dairy producers must receive more money for their milk.

Annual membership fee is $80 and producers can get more information about the NDPO by going online at:

Frazer Frost releases six-month ‘Dairy Farm Operating Trends’

Frazer Frost has released its Dairy Farm Operating Trends for the six months ended June 30, 2010.

The data is compiled from dairy operations in Southern California, the San Joaquin Valley, Kern County, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Panhandle, and the Pacific Northwest, which consists of Washington and Oregon operating collectively, with a combined milk production of over 2.4 billion pounds and more than 224,000 head of mature cows for the six months ended June 30, 2010.

This report includes a comparison of the results in the regions listed above for the six months ended June 30, 2010 both on a “per hundredweight of milk” basis and on a “per head” basis. Also included are selected financial ratios and other information for the period.

This publication is designed as a reference tool and a management aid for dairy farm managers and advisors.

Frazer Frost, has been associated with the dairy industry since the early 1950’s. At that time, many immigrants from Europe were arriving in California’s “Dairy Valley,” and establishing their farming operations. These early dairies averaged 50 cows and the families provided most of the labor. Frazer Frost, LLP’s partners, were instrumental in creating federal and state laws to help dairymen.

As development expanded in the dairy farming area, our firm helped many dairies relocate throughout California, and other states throughout the West and Midwest.  Many families we are servicing now have their third generation stepping into the operation’s management. We have grown with these families into their multiple operations, often totaling 10,000 cows or more. Today, Frazer Frost, has clients in California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Iowa, and South Dakota.  Also, we actively consult with many dairies throughout the United States.

J.D. Heiskell & Company brings 120-year-old tradition into 21st Century

In recent weeks, more than 50,000 underserved children had the opportunity to attend the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games thanks to firms such as J.D. Heiskell & Company.

J.D. Heiskell is one the many companies that donated to the “Giving Kids a Chance” program organized by Alltech, Inc. The program helps promote agriculture to the more than half a million visitors who attended the games recently in Lexington, Ky.

“In a time when businesses and individuals are making fewer donations and watching their costs very closely, we’ve increased the company’s charitable giving and invested in a new way to manage it,” said Scot Hillman, chairman of the board and great-grandson of company’s founder Jefferson Davis Heiskell.

In 2005, the company formed charitable committees composed of local employees from all parts of its business to review and respond to requests for funding. Membership on the committees rotates every year and they are given an annual budget each year based on the number of employees in their local market. Committees in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the southwest market (Texas and New Mexico), Idaho, and Nebraska make all the decisions on how their local charitable monies will be spent.

The two main guidelines the committees have are to keep their giving local, to avoid sponsorships and to concentrate on opportunities to change lives. Members of the committees also undertake “hands on” projects from time to time.

“Our employees have done everything from car washes to selling newspapers to painting Habitat for Humanity houses, all in the name of charity,” Hillman said.

More than 120 years ago, Jefferson Davis Heiskell found a way to support his community by quietly lending money to farmers he met through his business. Today, the feed business that Heiskell founded has evolved into a grain and commodity trading business that also operates livestock feed manufacturing and trans-loading facilities in seven western states and exports gains worldwide.

CMAB, CMMAB receive extension through 2015

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Food and Agriculture recently held a public hearing in Sacramento to consider the continuation of the California Milk Producers Advisory Board and the California Manufacturing Milk Producers Advisory Board.

This hearing is required every five years for both of these marketing orders. Based on the testimony and evidence received at the hearing, the CDFA determined the CMAB and the CMMAB will continue in full force and effect through Dec. 31, 2015.

The assessment rates are currently 10 cents per hundredweight for both market grade milk and manufacturing grade milk. These assessments serve as credits against the mandatory 15-cent assessment of the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. The CMAB and the CMMAB have been in existence for over 40 years.

One Comment on “California/Arizona DairyBusiness”

  • Jay December 6th, 2010 8:55 pm

    If your a dairy producer you NEED to join National Dairy Producers Organization. It’s the ONLY organization made up of producers and is here to fight the battle of low prices at the farm. Cooperatives and processers made record profits past 2 yrs. How did you do? Could you get food stamps if you wanted to? Like CWT? Anyone ask you before? NO? That’s why you need to join us. Let your voice be heard.