From Moorhead to Minneapolis and Plymouth to St. Paul, Minnesota is Proud to Dairy, dontchaknow.

Minnesota is home to more than 4,700 dairy farms, most of which are family owned and operated. For example, Paul and Barb Liebenstein of Wolf Creek Dairy, milk 400 cows and are committed to cow comfort and environmental responsibility. Find out more here.
And check out how the Liebensteins were part of Minnesota’s June Dairy Month celebration in 2008.

Another great Minnesota dairy farm family is the Haubenschild clan. View the video at Explore Dairy, a great website for facts about the Minnesota dairy industry. In the video, titled “Pride and Passion,” you can even watch as five-year-old Dane Haubenschild shows a calf for the first time.

Both of these families help to contribute to their state ranking 6th in the nation for milk production and 5th in the nation for cheese production.

Nicknamed the North Star state or the Land of 10,000 Lakes (even though you can find more than 12,000 lakes in the state), Minnesota is also home to the dairy cooperative Land O’Lakes, one of the nation’s largest producers of butter and cheese.

Just like in many other dairy states across the nation, Minnesota dairy producers come together to discuss industry issues, work to solve problems together and help one another to become more efficient and more socially conscious stewards of the land.

One organization that provides an opportunity to unite dairy farmers is the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, based in Buffalo, Minnesota. Some of the group’s activities include dairy management workshops, dairy development and profitability program and an annual summer bus tour.

I actually attended the 2008 tour, organized by the Minnesota Milk Producers Association and the University of Minnesota Extension. Check out the photos and trip summary here.

While I was in Minnesota, I was able to speak with Maurie and Rita Young, a dairy couple who partnered with another husband-wife dairy team to expand their dairy operation. Their management capabilities as well as their commitment to supporting their community should serve as inspiration for producers across the country.

The state of Minnesota is no doubt full of dairy producers like the Liebensteins, the Haubenschilds and the Youngs. And with programs like Princess Kay of the Milky Way and Minnesota Milk Producers’ Dairy Connections Programs, the future of the state’s dairy industry is in good hands.

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Comment by Kelsey Holter on November 24, 2009 at 9:21am
Makes me want cheese! Dontchaknow!


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