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Past award recipients revisited

Published on 08 November 2021
Rosy-Lane Holsteins

Rosy-Lane Holsteins

Winners of a 2020 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award, Rosy-Lane Holsteins is a partnership involving Lloyd and Daphne Holterman, Jordan Matthews and Tim Strobel.

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They continue to focus on best practices to improve water and energy efficiency, with new emphasis on use of cover crops. Genetic selection remains at the forefront as they strive for more sustainable, healthier and longer-living cows.

“Going into this award, I don’t think we thought of ourselves as ‘the most sustainable.’ Every day, we march forward thinking about what we need to do that is ‘best’ for our cows and people.”

—Jordan Matthews

Cinnamon Ridge Farms

Jon and Joan Maxwell

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Winners of a 2019 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award, Jon and Joan Maxwell were also named recipients of the 2021 “Good Farm Neighbor Award” by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers.

“Sustainability has given guidance to our farm to be more environmentally conscious, profitable and an example for others to follow. Whether you are a dairyman or consumer, sustainability is for you. Everyone doing their part will make the world a better place to live.”

—Jon Maxwell

Reinford Farms

Reinford Farms

Since winning a 2018 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award, Reinford Farms has installed another anaerobic digester three times the size of the original one. Yearly food waste recycling capacity has nearly doubled. The farm has been able to gain additional revenue from electric and renewable energy credits sales and food waste tipping fees.

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“I think the big thing for us is: After implementing sustainable practices, there are always ways to improve the practice so it’s even better. It’s been fun to continue to tweak the things we are already doing and realizing additional potential.”

—Reinford Farms

Rickreall Dairy

Rickreall Dairy

Since winning a 2017 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award, Rickreall Dairy has continued its partnerships with neighboring farms to provide nutrients for their crops in exchange for animal feed. They look for ways to innovate, including changing barn lighting fixtures to improve energy efficiency. Rickreall Dairy marked its 30th anniversary by giving back to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic with a food giveaway that served approximately 430 families with ground beef and milk.

“Our sustainability story doesn’t stop with an award; we keep going. And will continue to improve our farm for the sake of the environment and our community in coming generations.”

—Louie Kazemier

Jer-Lindy Farms and Redhead Creamery

Jer-Lindy Farms and Redhead Creamery

Since winning a 2016 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award, Jer-Lindy Farms and Redhead Creamery continue to focus on “the little things” every day, from recycling plastics to sharing their story, as they evaluate additional sustainability practices.

“Living through the pandemic made us very thankful to have both the farm and the creamery. The two together – making local foods and sharing our story, while also sending 90 percent of our milk to larger cooperative cheese plants – show that we need all types in modern agriculture.”

—Jerry Jennissen

Freund’s Farm

Freund's Farm

Since receiving a 2015 Outstanding Achievement in Resource Stewardship Award, Freund’s Farm continues to look for ways to reduce its carbon footprint and be as efficient in production as possible. The family has experimented with double cropping by harvesting cover crops, added GPS mapping for accurate manure application and recently completed an energy audit in the CowPot factory to reduce energy use and improve profitability.

“CowPots is coming into its own because ‘Generation Z’ understands our commitment to sustainable practices. When people shop at our retail farm market, they know we do our best to provide them with the highest-quality products we can, using the most sustainable practices, while being as price-sensitive as we can. When we cater farm-to-table meals, we present guests with where the food came from and how it was prepared.”

—Matt Freund

McCarty Family Farms

McCarty Family Farms

Since receiving a 2014 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award, McCarty Farms continues to take a holistic approach to sustainability, conducting a comprehensive audit that evaluates their work from soil to cow to condensed milk. Additional technologies, like soil moisture probes and variable-rate misters, help preserve resources while also supporting research efforts. More recently, the McCartys utilized their experience and best practices in partnership with the VanTilburg family to create their most sustainable farm yet, MVP Dairy, in Celina, Ohio.

“We’ve focused on protecting and conserving our natural resources for many years, but if we could do anything differently it would have been to implement regenerative practices, like no-till and cover cropping, earlier. The results of these practices are improving the quality of our resources while sustaining them. These improvements take time, but we are hopeful we are laying the groundwork for the future of McCarty Family Farms.”

—McCarty Family Farm

Blue Spruce Farm

Blue Spruce Farm

Since receiving a 2012 Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award, the Audet family has learned that developing and implementing sustainable practices not only benefit the environmental and economic aspects of their dairy but also provide an avenue to share their story with consumers.

“When we received this award, our family felt honored in that it was a public affirmation of our desire to produce quality milk in a way that is good for our animals, good for the environment and good for our community. But time would show us it was more than that; winning this award opened unprecedented opportunities to elevate and communicate dairy’s positive role in our communities. We’ve learned firsthand that people want to hear from farmers – they want to visit our farms; they care about how food is produced.”

—Marie Audet end mark

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