Two Wisconsin farm families were recently honored by the Dairy Business Association at their Annual Business Conference held at the Concourse Hotel & Governor's Club in Madison, Wisconsin last week. The Crave Brothers Farm, LLC was recognized as the DBA Advocate of the Year award recipients and Larson Family & Larson Acres was recognized with the DBA Leadership Award. These awards are given annually as part of the Wisconsin dairy industry lobbying groups annual meeting of dairy producer members, allied industry representatives and invited state legislators. Both awards are sponsored by Vita Plus.
DBA Advocate of the Year Award - Crave Brothers Farm LLC
Charlie, George, Tom and Mark Crave, along with their families, have made their farm in Waterloo, Wisconsin a showplace of Wisconsin dairy efficiency and innovation. Their operation includes roughly 2,000 cows, 1,800 acres, two anaerobic manure digesters and a farmstead cheese factory. They make it a point to attend Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, other legislative and fellow producer's hearings on the rights to farm, diversify and grow operations within the state. They were also recognized for the excellent job they do day in and day out taking care of their land while constantly sharing the story of modern agriculture production. Whether it's the 80,000 some attendees at a recent year's Wisconsin Farm Technology Days that they hosted or the close to 1,000 people who visit the farm every year, Crave's continue to educate consumers, food editors, cheese buyers and the media about industry production methods and practices. Their philosophy on the farm is that they are proud to produce and promote high quality milk and cheese. They enjoy telling the story of dairy farming that emphasizes cow comfort, quality milk and working in harmony with the land to generate power and produce quality milk and award winning cheese. For these efforts and others, DBA, on behalf of their members recognized them with the Advocate award.
DBA Leadership Award - Larson Acres, Inc.
Ed, Mike and Sandy Larson and their families who farm on 5,000 acres of land and care for 2,900 cows near Evansville, Wisconsin were honored by their peers for demonstrating an exceptional commitment to growing the dairy industry in Wisconsin. The Larsons were recognized for their eight years of perseverance of doing what is not right not only for their operation, but for the entire industry. The Larson's story began in 2002 when Larson Acres applied for a conditional-use permit for a heifer facility. The application met with considerable local opposition and their ensuing experiences made them "poster children" of sorts for the adoption of Wisconsin's landmark Livestock Facility Siting Law. In their recognition it was stated that the industry owes a great debt to the Larsons for not standing idly by when the Town made decisions inconsistent with the Siting Law, but rather stood up for itself and the industry in court, we hope when all is said and done, establishing a clear precedent under the law that will benefit every dairy producer trying to expand his or her operation by playing by the rules. Recently, the Larson Family hosted an open house which drew an estimated 3,000 neighbors and friends who had an opportunity to see that a modern dairy is a spectacular site where animals and the land are well cared for. For their leadership and perseverance on upholding the Siting Law they earned this year's DBA Leadership Award.