Milk Source named 2014 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year

Wisconsin's Milk Source has been named the 2014 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year. This national award is given annually by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and Dairy Today magazine.

"Congratulations to Milk Source, the 2014 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year," said Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Ben Brancel. "I am pleased that a Wisconsin dairy farm received this prestigious award, representing the dedication and innovation of our state's more than 10,500 dairy farms."

The Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year award highlights the outstanding contributions of progressive dairy producers. All nominees were judged on their innovative management practices, production technologies, marketing approaches and ability to meet future economic and business challenges. The award was presented this week at the IDFA Dairy Forum in California.

"Milk Source dairies support thousands of families across Wisconsin, producing high quality milk, collaborating on research, investing in the future and providing imperative education," explained Brancel. "The farm is committed to investing in their employees and being engaged in their local communities."

Milk Source was founded in 1994. Currently there are six locations across Wisconsin. Each farm offers set tour times each week, and more than 10,000 people tour the farms annually. The detailed website provides additional information about how milk goes from the cow to processing plant to the grocery store. The high-quality animals of MilkSource Genetics are recognized for their success in milking parlors and show rings across North America.

Milk Source is known for its collaboration. The farm recently partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to capture the energy from Rosendale Dairy's manure, providing a renewable energy source and teaching opportunity. New Chester Dairy, Clean Energy of Milwaukee and Brakebush Brothers are partnering on an anaerobic digester project to generate electricity for the frozen chicken products manufacturer. Milk Source has also been actively engaged in Dairy Cares of Wisconsin, which raises funds for the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

"The Milk Source leadership is very forward-thinking and has a clear vision for the future of their farms, making decisions with the environment and conservation in mind," added Brancel. "I am confident Milk Source will continue to be a valuable member of Wisconsin's dairy future."

This is the third Wisconsin farm to be recognized in the 16 year history of the program. Previous state winners include Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy of Kewaunee and Baldwin Dairy/Emerald Dairy of Emerald.

For more information about the Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year recognition, visit www.idfa.org. Learn more about Milk Source at www.milksource.com.