BUFFALO, MINN. (December 10, 2010) — Gar-Lin Dairy Farms was named Minnesota’s 2010 Producers of the Year by Minnesota Milk Producers Association during the Midwest Dairy Expo on November 30 in St. Cloud, Minn. Each year Minnesota Milk recognizes one outstanding dairy operation as the Producers of the Year for having a proven commitment to the dairy industry, managing their farm for future generations, and for being active in their local community.
Gar-Lin Dairy Farms is a unique partnership between two very dedicated farm families in Eyota, Minn. The partnership was formed in 2006 and includes Gary and Linda Allen, Gene and Phyllis Speltz, Dean Allen, Dana Allen and Carey Tweten. Together the families have over 164 years of experience within the seven-person leadership team.
Their mission is to produce quality milk for today’s consumer, along with peas, sweetcorn, and alfalfa. They strive to be competitive and efficient in the dairy industry, using modern technology and environmentally sound practices, while providing their employees with a quality place of employment.
Combining their years of experience with the youth and excitement for new technology, the two families have made many facility changes over the last few years focusing on cow comfort, herd performance and employee satisfaction. Their 34 full-time and 14 part-time employees help milk 1,800 cows, raise 1,700 youngstock and farm 2,800 acres. Having a rolling herd average over 30,000 pounds with a cull rate under 28 percent is a glimpse at their achievements.
The same commitment toward excellence bleeds into their community and industry involvement. The family members have hosted various farm tours for dairy producers, agricultural professionals, international visitors, and consumers. They’ve also hosted hayrides in conjunction with Eyota Days, served ice cream to over 300 people, and taught ag-in-the-classroom.
The families are also very involved with various local, statewide and national organizations. Dana Allen was also recognized by Midwest Dairy Association for serving on the Sustainability Council of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Dana is leading a team of more than 50 researchers, scientists, and producers who are working together to accelerate the development and adoption of best practices.
“The Speltz and Allen families are great examples of how Minnesota’s dairy industry is building a strong future based on solid a foundation,” said Bob Lefebvre executive director of Minnesota Milk Producers Association. “Two families with a strong dairy tradition pooled their resources to remain sustainable for years to come. We are very proud to recognize their continued leadership.”
Over the next year, Minnesota Milk Producers Association will recognize Gar-Lin Dairy Farms for their commitment to securing a bright future for their families, their farm and their local community.
Minnesota’s dairy industry includes both dairy production and processing, with a combined total annual output value of $4.6 billion. Approximately 99 percent of Minnesota’s 4,700 dairy farms are family-owned.
ABOUT THE MINNESOTA MILK PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION
The Minnesota Milk Producers Association serves as the “Voice of Minnesota’s Dairy Industry” as the only grassroots organization for the industry with a democratically elected board of dairy farmer directors. Its mission is to promote a positive image for the dairy industry while protecting dairy producer’s business interests and way of life. For more information, visit www.mnmilk.org.
ABOUT THE INNOVATION CENTER FOR U.S. DAIRY
Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy provides a forum for the dairy industry to work together pre-competitively to address barriers and opportunities to foster innovation and increase sales. The Innovation Center aligns the collective resources of the industry to offer consumers nutritious dairy products and ingredients, and promote the health of people, communities, the planet and the industry. The Board of Directors for the Innovation Center represents leaders of more than 30 key U.S. producer organizations, dairy cooperatives, processors, manufacturers and brands. The Innovation Center is staffed by Dairy Management Inc.™ Visit www.USDairy.com for more information about the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.