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[Podcast] Brent Simon: MMPA’s 2020 young cooperator of the year

Progressive Dairy Published on 16 December 2020
Brent Simon
Brent and Emily Simon operate a dairy farm with 930 cows and 2,300 acres in Westphalia, Michigan. Courtesy photo.

Get to know Michigan Milk Producers through one of the organization's award-winning dairies. In this issue, Editor Walt Cooley talks with Tony Jandernoa and Brent Simon. Jandernoa is the District 6 representative for Michigan Milk. As a board member, he works with the show's second guest, Brent Simon. Earlier this year, Simon and his wife, Emily, were named Michigan Milk's young cooperators of the year. The Simons operate a farm with 930 cows and 2,300 acres. Brent is a graduate of the dairy management program at Michigan State University, while Emily has a bachelor’s degree from Davenport University.

This isn’t the first time Brent and his wife, Emily, have been honored.

The farm was selected as a platinum-quality award winner from the National Mastitis Council in 2016, has twice hosted the Alta Genetics showcase tour and was a World Dairy Expo virtual farm tour presenter in 2011. Brent serves as an MMPA delegate for District 6.

In this episode, Brent talks about his farm, the best decision he ever made on the farm and how he achieves high-quality milk.



Here is a breakdown of the episode:

Tony Jandernoa 

Who is MMPA? [~1:30]

What are some of the issues facing Michigan milk producers right now? [~2:45]

In your opinion, what makes Brent and Emily Simon exceptional producers? [~3:45]

What is their role as young cooperators in MMPA? [~4:45]


Brent Simon

Tell us about your farm. [~6:15]

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your farm? [~9:00]

Tell me one thing you think you do differently than other dairies. [~11:00]

What is it that you do that makes you an award-winning dairy? [~12:00]

What tips do you have for managing a team? [~14:15]

What’s one technology you use that you couldn’t do without? [~15:15]

What are you planning for your next investment in the farm? [~17:00]

Explain the best decision you’ve ever made on the farm. [~18:00]

Tell us the worst decision you’ve ever made on the farm. [~20:00]

What is your process for evaluating potential products you use on the farm? [~21:30]

If you won $5,000, how would you spend it for the farm? [~23:00]

What do you like to do when you get off the farm? [~24:15]

Explain your wife’s role on the farm. [~25:30]

What have you enjoyed about serving as a young cooperator? [~26:45]

If you could go back and change anything about your career, what would it be? [~29:00]

What topics will you be watching over the next year? [~31:15]

What are you looking forward to in the upcoming months? [~33:00]


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