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Find out more about dairy farmers and industry experts, including the producers behind unique dairy operations and innovative management strategies.

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Promoting dairy all year long is what the Dairy Women of Whatcom County, Washington, do best.

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By the road to Elbridge, New York, standing near a red barn, is an older, unused, 30-foot silo that catches everyone’s eye.

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Marion Barlass and her husband, Bill, operate Barlass Jerseys near Janesville, Wisconsin, with two of their three children. They milk 420 registered Jerseys and grow alfalfa, corn, soybeans, wheat and canning crops on 1,000 acres. The Barlass herd is among the top-producing Jersey herds in the U.S. with a rolling herd average of 18,000 pounds, more than 900 pounds of fat and 770 pounds of protein. Last fall, World Dairy Expo honored Barlass as the 2008 Dairy Woman of the Year.

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“Activist” can be a scary word for many in the dairy industry. Producers live in fear of the power and abilities of environmental and animal rights activist organizations. However, Deb Reinhart, one of dairy’s own, could easily be referred to as an activist – a dairy activist.

“I want to make a difference in this world,” Reinhart says of why she’s devoted countless hours to various organizations and causes.

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For Loretta Lyons and her husband, dairying was “a way of making a living and wanting to farm.” Loretta certainly never expected her passion for agriculture to lead to a national competition.

Loretta and Hade Lyons purchased their first 150 acres in 1961, a year after they married. Less than three years later, they were milking about 30 head, while finishing their college degrees. Throughout the next several years, the Lyons milked cows, worked full-time as schoolteachers and raised three children.

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Aged raw-milk cheeses and a niche market have made Liz McAlister a successful dairy farmer in Colchester, Connecticut. Liz realized in the mid-’90s that if she was going to make it in the dairy business with a small herd of cows in New England, she must concentrate on the retail market for dairy products.

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