Contact: Marti Pupillo
(Orlando, Fla. – January 28, 2013) McCarty Family Farms of Rexford, Kan., was named the 2013 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year during an awards ceremony today at the International Dairy Foods Association's Dairy Forum in Orlando, Fla. The award, co-sponsored by IDFA and Dairy Today magazine, recognizes U.S. dairy producers that apply creativity, excellence and forward thinking to achieve greater on-farm productivity and improved milk marketing.
McCarty Family Farms earned two nominations, one from Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman and another from Michael Neuwirth, senior director of public relations for The Dannon Company, Inc. Ken and Mike McCarty, two of four brothers who own the family farms along with their parents, accepted the award, along with Joe Gillespie, McCarty Family Farms chief operations officer, and David Lainchbury, vice president of sourcing and supplier development for Dannon.
"Tom and Judy McCarty took a risk and moved from rural Pennsylvania to the plains of Kansas in 1999 to give their four sons the opportunity to fulfill their goals to be dairy farmers," Secretary Rodman told Dairy Today mazagine. "Thirteen years later, McCarty Family Farms has become an innovative leader in the Kansas dairy industry and a key component in three western Kansas communities."
The family operates three dairies in Kansas. The farm in Rexford has 2,100 cows, Bird City has 2,700 cows and Scott City has 2,300 cows. The family has established a unique and innovative marketing agreement with Dannon to supply all of the milk for the company's Fort Worth, Texas, yogurt facility. For the past two years, Dannon has been McCarty Family Farms' sole customer.
In addition, the family built an on-farm condensing plant – the first in the nation – at the Rexford dairy in 2011 to supply Dannon exclusively with condensed skim milk and pasteurized cream. The cost-plus business model devised by McCarty Family Farms provides improved financial stability for both the family farms and Dannon, according to Neuwirth. By condensing milk onsite, the family is able to reduce the environmental impact of shipping, reuse the water reclaimed during condensing and decrease overall inputs.
"The vision of the McCartys to find a partner who provides economic stability during volatile swings in pricing is an example of their commitment to innovation and future economic and business planning," said Neuwirth.
McCarty Family Farms is featured in the January issue of Dairy Today magazine. The award presentation can be viewed at IDFA's YouTube channel. http://www.youtube.com/user/dairyIDFA/
Previous winners of the Innovative Dairy Farmer title are Mason Dixon Farms, Gettysburg, Pa. (1999); Clauss Dairy Farms, Hilmar, Calif. (2000); Baldwin Dairy/Emerald Dairy, Emerald, Wis. (2001); Si-Ellen Farms, Jerome, Idaho (2002); Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy, Kewaunee, Wis. (2003); C Bar M Dairy, Jerome, Idaho (2004); North Florida Holsteins, Bell, Fla. (2005); KF Dairy, El Centro, Calif. (2006); Joseph Gallo Farms, Atwater, Calif. (2007); KBC Farms, Purdy, Mo., (2008); High Plains Dairy, Friona, Texas (2009); Haubenschild Dairy Farm, Inc., Princeton, Minn. (2010); Brubaker Farms, Mount Joy, Pa. (2011); and Sweetwater Valley Farm, Philadelphia, Tenn. (2012).
A call for nominations for the 2014 Innovative Dairy Farmer award will be released this summer.
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be fou