Current Progressive Dairy digital edition


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



Age: 35

Location: Clintonville, Wisconsin

My experience as a trimmer: Nine years as a professional hoof trimmer

I got started in trimming because … I wanted to be self-employed

If I wasn’t a trimmer, I would be ... doing something that allows me to use my talent in fixing things. I used to be a HVAC-R service technician and can fix almost anything mechanical. I get great satisfaction from fixing things, including cows, and making them work again.

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In their health classes, elementary students usually learn they should get three servings of dairy a day to build strong bones and muscles.

But for most kids, that’s probably not the most exciting lesson. A dairy farm family in western Wisconsin looked to change that for one school district.

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Age: I’m 61, but feel 39

Location: Riverdale, California

My dairy’s history: My grandfather, A. F. Mendes, started dairying in about 1917 after working a short while as a milker. He owned dairies in various locations near Riverdale during the 1920s. He started the dairy at our current location in 1937.

In 1961, he sold his interest to four of his six children. Between 1980 and 2005, the family underwent various reorganizations resulting in three separate dairy farms.

My parents and I each acquired 50 percent of the current A. F. Mendes, Inc. in 2005. My son Paul is the fourth generation of dairy farmers in our family.

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Age: 60

Location: Madison, New York

My dairy’s history: This is a first-generation farm. I was brought up on a farm in Massachusetts, but moved to this farm 36 years ago.

If I wasn’t a dairy producer, I would be … a rancher or crop farmer. I taught school for three years but soon realized I needed to be outside working the land and raising animals.

I have been a member of the Beef Board for … four months.

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Loewen Welding and Manufacturing Ltd. recently announced the retirement of Wayne Raiche, an engineer-designer turned salesman, effective May l.

In the 1970s, Raiche found his first employment in engineering in steel fabrication. A friend who owned a welding supply business encouraged Wayne to meet Ernie Loewen, owner of Loewen Welding in Matsqui, British Columbia, Canada.

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Progressive Dairyman Editor Walt Cooley discusses the Dairy Industry Advisory Committee report’s findings with committee leaders Erick Coolidge and Andy Novakovic. This online article contains more of the interview than what was printed in the May 2 issue of the magazine.


Q. Tell me about the name of your farm. – Le-Ma-Re Farm. That’s a unique name.

A. COOLIDGE: My father desired to attach a prefix to any animals that we would register. He thought he would like to include the first names of our family as the base for the prefix. Lynn, my father, and Erick, myself, make up the “Le” in Le-Ma-Re Farms. “Ma” stands for Mary, my mother, and “Re” is for Reba, my sister.

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