DFA honors 2013 ‘Members of Distinction’Print
Dairy Farmers of America’s Members of Distinction program honors members who embody the Cooperative’s core values, excelling on their operations, in their communities and in the industry. Each year, one member farm from each of DFA’s seven regional Areas is honored during the Annual Banquet at DFA’s Annual Meeting. The 2013 Members of Distinction, honored March 19, were:
Krause Family, Krause Holsteins, Inc. — Buffalo, Minn. Charles Krause credits his love of dairying to his father, Warren, and the 21 days he managed the family farm after his father suffered a heart attack when Charles was only 16. Father and son say their experiences have helped to broaden their horizons and spark an interest in following new techniques and keeping up to date on technology. Throughout the years, the Krauses have been recognized for their willingness to adopt new techniques and try new things.
Mideast Area Ayers Family, Ayers Farms — Perrysville, Ohio Ayers Farms, a seventh-generation operation, is owned and operated by brothers and partners Carl and Steve Ayers; their wives, Janet and Deb; Carl and Janet’s daughter, Kathy Davis; and Steve and Deb’s son, Jesse. The Ayers attribute their success to their 22 full- and part-time employees who work on the operation. A focus on educating employees means the Ayers have regular employee meetings and offer training on a periodic basis.
Hall Family, J.R. Hall Farms — Rigby, Idaho At J.R. Hall Farms in Rigby, Idaho, they live by the motto “there’s always room for more.” Today, brothers Jeremy and Ty Hall, along with their father, Jerry, and uncle, Ricki, operate the dairy, which milks 1,100 cows. In addition to herd and facility expansions over the years, the family has remained cost conscious in an effort to avoid as much debt as possible. Now with the next generation nearing their teenage years, the family plans to continue the family tradition of dairying.
Piper and Hamilton Families, Piper Farm LLC — Embden, Maine In an effort to ensure their farm remains for generations after they retire, Lowell and Karen Piper formed a partnership with Matt and Marsha Hamilton in 2010. Today, the families milk 550 cows and make all business decisions together. After forming the partnership, they agreed to expand the herd and current facilities to help with overcrowding. A new freestall barn, which will be completed this spring, will house 200 cows.
Huffard Family, Huffard Dairy Farms — Crockett, Va. Brothers James and John Huffard own and operate Huffard Dairy Farms in Crockett, Va., along with their mother, June. Since their grandfather, James Schultz Huffard Sr., started the farm 1929, the farm has been known as one of the country’s premier registered Jersey breeding facilities. Today, James oversees the farm’s breeding, while John manages the farm’s 660 acres, which produces an abundance of forages.
Jackson Family, Bentwood Dairy — Waco, Texas David Jackson began his dairy operation at age 24, starting small and building his operation to what it is now. Today, David, along with wife, Jodi, and their children, own a diverse business. They milk 600 cows twice a day in addition to operating their sprig business and raising beef cattle and steers. A proponent of using pasture when possible, the Jacksons utilize grazing to provide the majority of the herd’s feed. By diversifying their business and making sound business decisions, the Jacksons have weathered the industry’s ups and downs.
Van Warmerdam Family, Van Warmerdam Dairy — Galt, Calif. After emigrating from Holland to the United States in 1947, Ben Van Warmerdam had dreams of starting his own dairy. Today, Ben’s sons, Peter and Leo, are carrying on their father’s legacy on their 1,100-cow, 1,200-acre operation in Galt, Calif., along with the help of their younger brother, Benny, and the support of 13 full-time employees. With a focus on cow comfort and sustainability, the Van Warmerdams also emphasize teamwork to drive their success.