making a difference for dairy
Be Heard

Regulatory RoundUp

Get Involved

Advocacy: Dairy Counts

Join the Discussion

Dairy Forum


Holsum Dairies of Hilbert, Wisconsin, Named 2016 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year

Jan 27, 2016
Bob Nagel, co-owner of Holsum Dairies, (right) accepts the award from Ron Dunford, NCI chairman.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       
Contact: Marti Hogan
(202) 220-3535 

(Phoenix – January 27, 2016) Holsum Dairies of Hilbert, Wis., was named the 2016 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year during an awards ceremony this week at the International Dairy Foods Association's Dairy Forum in Phoenix. The award, co-sponsored by IDFA and Dairy Herd Management magazine, recognizes U.S. dairy producers that apply creativity, excellence and forward thinking to achieve greater on-farm productivity and improved milk marketing.

Holsum Dairies operates two dairy farms about four miles apart near Hilbert, Wis., about 30 minutes south of Green Bay. Holsum Irish Dairy was built in 2001, and Holsum Elm Dairy was built five years later. Together, they milk 8,200 cows and ship 190 million pounds of milk annually.

With methane digestion an integral part of operations, Holsum Dairies generates enough equivalent electricity to provide power for both farms and an additional 400 to 600 residential homes. Waste heat from the power generators also provides heat for both operations.

“Holsum Dairies earned the award because the farms demonstrate responsible land stewardship in creative ways,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. “The owners have incorporated many innovative initiatives to optimize milk production, minimize waste and commit to longer-term sustainability.”

This is the 18th year for the award and the fourth time a Wisconsin farm has been selected. “’Reduce, reuse, recycle and measure’ are Holsum Dairy management’s guiding principles,” said Ben Brancel, Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture, who nominated the operation.

Brancel also attended the awards ceremony where Bob Nagel, a veterinarian and co-owner of Holsum Dairies, accepted the award. The other owners are Kenn Beulow, also a veterinarian, and Holsum, Inc., whose senior partner is Marc Reischman.

Holsum Dairies is featured in the January issue of Dairy Herd Management magazine. A video highlighting the company’s operations can be viewed at IDFA's YouTube channel.

Photos are available upon request. Contact Marti Hogan, IDFA director of communications, at

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); Sweetwater Valley Farm, Philadelphia, Tenn. (2012); McCarty Family Farms, Rexford, Kan. (2013); Milk Source, LLC, Kaukauna, Wis. (2014); and Hilmar Jerseys, Hilmar, Calif. (2015).

A call for nominations for the 2017 Innovative Dairy Farmer award will be released this summer.

#  #  #

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 within a $125-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 nearly 200 dairy processing members run nearly 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, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. Visit IDFA at

Dairy Delivers