making a difference for dairy

Canadian Trade Policies
Food Waste
Geographical Indications
National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard
NCIMS - 2017 Conference Summary
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
Nutrition Facts Label Changes
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)
Worker Safety in the Dairy Industry

More issues...

Be Heard

Regulatory RoundUp

Get Involved

Dairy Counts

Join the Discussion

Dairy Forum

Dairy Delivers: The Economic Impact of Dairy Products
Dairy Counts
FDA Milk Safety Memorandums
Buyers' Guide
Member Hotlines
Dairy Market Prices
Quick Links

Dairy Facts 2016

Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year

Recognizing Progressive Dairy Producers

Co-sponsored by IDFA and Dairy Herd Management

Nominations are now closed for the 20th Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year, an annual award co-sponsored by IDFA and Dairy Herd Management magazine. The winner will revealed and honored at Dairy Forum 2018, January 21-24 at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs in Palm Desert, Calif.  

The award honors farms that are improving efficiency through progressive management practices, production technologies and/or marketing approaches. Nominees are judged on current methods as well as their positioning to meet future economic and business challenges.

The award recipient will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Dairy Forum to attend a special presentation ceremony held during the program. (Winner will be responsible for all tax liabilities.) The person nominating the winner will receive complimentary registration to Dairy Forum. In addition, the winning operation will be highlighted in the January 2018 issue of Dairy Herd Management.  

Jer-Lindy Farms LLC of Brooten, Minn., received the 2017 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year Award.

Jer-Lindy Farms may be one of the smallest operations to receive the award. Owners Jerry and Linda Jennissen manage the farm with 200 cows and nine part-time employees, while their daughter Alise and son-in-law Lucas Sjostrom operate the Redhead Creamery in a building across the driveway from the milk-room and parlor. Adding the creamery, which makes cheddar, brie and munster cheese, in 2013 gave the family the opportunity to expand and diversify the business without adding cows or acres.

“We’re pleased to honor Jer-Lindy Farms with this award for two reasons,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “The owners found innovative ways to expand and keep younger family members engaged in the operations. They also have initiated several sustainability efforts to boost efficiency and profits while continuing to be good stewards of the land and the animals.”

View a brief video about the owners and their operation here.

Previous Winners

  • Holsum Dairies of Hilbert, Wis.
  • Hilmar Jerseys, Hilmar, Calif. 
  • Milk Source, LLC, Kaukauna, Wis.
  • McCarty Family Farms, Rexford, Kan.
  • Sweetwater Valley Farm, Philadelphia, Tenn.
  • Brubaker Farms, Mount Joy, Pa.
  • Haubenschild Dairy Farm, Princeton, Minn.
  • High Plains Dairy of Friona, Texas
  • KBC Farms, Purdy, Mo.
  • Joseph Gallo Farms, Atwater, Calif.
  • KF Dairy, El Centro, Calif.
  • North Florida Holsteins, Bell, Fla.
  • C Bar M Dairy, Jerome, Idaho
  • Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy, Kewaunee, Wis.
  • Si-Ellen Farms, Jerome, Idaho
  • Baldwin Dairy/Emerald Dairy, Emerald, Wis.
  • Clauss Dairy Farms, Hilmar, Calif.
  • Mason Dixon Farms, Gettysburg, Pa.