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Beaty brings lifetime of service to dairy’s benefit

Amy Throndsen for Progressive Dairy Published on 13 October 2021
Dale Beaty

Dale Beaty understood service in his bones before he could likely touch his feet to the pedals of a tractor. Beaty grew up on his grandparents’ 15-cow dairy farm, where they milked the cows by hand.

His grandparents quit milking by the time Beaty was 8, and his dad and grandfather worked at the Badger Army Ammunition Plant located near Baraboo, Wisconsin. The eldest of six, Beaty knew he could lessen the burden on his family if he gained employment and found other housing. By the time he was in the sixth grade and throughout high school, he worked and lived on two different dairy farms, milking cows and doing fieldwork.

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The work ethic Beaty learned from the farms he worked on and the mentoring guidance he received from his Future Farmers of America (FFA) adviser, Gaylord Schroeder, and his wife, Joyce, along with Beaty’s other FFA mentors laid the foundation on which he built his life.

Schroeder told Beaty he would compete in the FFA Creed Speaking Leadership Development Event and memorize the FFA Creed. Unsure of himself, Beaty worked with Mrs. Schroeder, an English teacher, to help him prepare.

“Setting the goal of competing in the FFA competition and then the dream of becoming an FFA state officer totally changed my life,” Beaty says.

dale beaty

Beaty competed in the creed competition but didn’t win. That didn’t deter him but set him on the course to serve as the state vice president and state FFA president.

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Grounded in the FFA Creed, “I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds,” Beaty understood “from the very beginning, you can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. Leaders have to get their hands dirty.”

He carried that with him as he began his career in the Army, first with a Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he majored in agricultural economics, and then served seven years active duty as an Army officer and Army Ranger, retiring as an Army captain.

“Coming from the farm, the work ethic of not quitting until the job is done translated beautifully from the farm to the Army,” Beaty says. “There is never an excuse to not accomplish your mission.

“Growing up on the farm, I knew that you had to be part of the action. You had to get your hands dirty,” Beaty says, “As an officer, being right there with the soldiers, not asking them to do something I wouldn’t or couldn’t do, built a lot of trust and mutual respect.”

Improvise, adapt and overcome to accomplish the mission was a guiding principle in the Army for Beaty. He uses those skills in his current role as the director of member relations at Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative and Dairy Business Association.

 dale beaty

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“The dairy industry has plenty of obstacles in the path of all dairy men and women,” Beaty says. “Providing community and educational opportunities to continue to learn how to improvise, adapt and overcome is my main goal.”

In the Army, every day was a different day, just as it is on the dairy farm. Beaty knows firsthand that leading the people you serve through adapting, improvising and overcoming the obstacles faced on the job and in their personal lives is critical to success in combat and on the farm. 

“I am very proud to work with and serve dairy farmers,” Beaty says. “Milk is Mother Nature’s superfood. The work that our farmers are doing – even though so many times they aren’t appreciated – is a great service for our nation.”  end mark

PHOTO 1: Beaty began his career in the Army, first with an ROTC scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he majored in agricultural economics.

PHOTO 2: Beaty served seven years active duty as an Army officer and Army Ranger, retiring as an Army captain. 

PHOTO 3: Beaty is director of member relations at Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative and Dairy Business Association. Photos provided by Dale Beaty.

Amy Throndsen
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  • Advanced Comfort Technology Inc.

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