Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

I belong to... DFA: Paul Dykshorn

PD Staff Published on 20 July 2011


Location: Sioux Center, Iowa



Age: 36

My dairy’s history: Our dairy was established in the late 1930s by my grandpa. When my dad returned from service in the Navy in the mid-1960s, he took over the operation. Today, my parents are still involved, and my brother and I, along with our wives, own and operate the farm. We milk 400 cows and grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa.

If I wasn’t a dairyman, I would be ... working in the industry doing something, maybe related to genetics.

I have been a member of DFA for … 12 years.

I joined DFA because ... it was a good fit. My dad had been a member of Mid-Am, and I have always felt that being part of a strong cooperative is a must.


My favorite DFA representative/friend is ... my former area representative, Earl Biggers, who recently took a new job with DFA in Kansas City. He was always available to his member farms for questions and is very knowledgeable about the industry.

What DFA does best is ... letting members know what is going on, not just within DFA but in the bigger industry on a regular – even daily – basis.

I feel valued as a member when ... I’m asked to participate in local and area events, and know that our area and national boards are listening to our responses and the questions we ask. I also appreciate being able to participate in the resolutions process.

An influential person whom I’ve met through DFA is ... Randy McGinnis, chief operating officer for DFA’s Central Area.

He or she is helpful/influential because ... he has a genuine passion for DFA and its members. He’s constantly asking us to think outside the box and consider the needs of a diverse group of members.

My worst struggle in dairying is/was ... 2009.


I hope my dairy legacy is ... to continue encouraging our Young Cooperators to become strong leaders for the cooperative and industry.

If I were running DFA, I would ... decline the job offer. There’s enough stress running cows, let alone trying to do a job like that.

My advice to all dairymen is ... just to have fun. This job we have is the best. PD

Dairy Farmers of America
10220 N Ambassador Dr
Kansas City, MO 64153 1-888-DFA-MILK

Year organized............................1998
Lbs of milk produced...................63 billion
Number of processing facilities...27
Number of employees.................3,000

Milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, etc.

Private-labels owned
Keller’s Creamery brands, Borden Cheese, Cache Valley Cheese, Borden Butter, Hotel Bar Butter, Breakstone’s Butter, Plugra European Style Butter and Sport Shake.