Fact Sheet : 2010 Members of Distinction

March 22, 2010

Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.’s (DFA) Members of Distinction program recognizes members who excel on their operations, in their communities and in the industry. They inspire others through their actions, leadership and involvement, and represent the best of the dairy industry.

Each year, one notable member farm from each of DFA’s seven Areas is selected to receive this honor. The 2010 Members of Distinction are:

Boening Brothers Dairy
Kenneth, Russell and Scott Boening – Floresville, Texas
Challenging conditions haven’t stopped the Boenings from running a thriving dairy operation. The family has diversified their farm to include beef cows, crops and an aerial application business in order to ensure their operation remains viable for generations to come.

Estes Farm and Dairy
Kerry Estes and Christiana Kerry – Fountaintown, Ind.
For Kerry Estes and his wife Christiana, the fact that neither of them had a dairy background didn’t stop them from realizing their dream of raising their family on a dairy farm. By utilizing pasture-based dairying, they could achieve their dream with low start-up costs and less intensive labor requirements.

Hillcrest Dairy
Sam Dilsaver – Elmwood, Ill.
On Hillcrest Dairy, Sam Dilsaver knows that in order for his operation to be successful, it takes an eye for detail. That’s why he utilizes technology like cameras in the milk parlor to closely monitor the practices and processes on his dairy.

VanderVegt Dairy
Steve VanderVegt and Irene VanderVegt-Gibson – Paul, Idaho
Irene VanderVegt’s passion for the industry allowed her to move forward after the tragic loss of her husband left her raising three children and operating a growing dairy alone. With a positive outlook, Irene has overcome these tragic circumstances to operate a state-of-the-art dairy facility with her son, Steve.

Ideal Dairy Farms & Quiet Brook Holsteins
John and Denise Dickinson – Hudson Falls, N.Y.
On Ideal Dairy Farms, increased turnover in their herd led John and Denise Dickinson to develop a premier breeding program. Today, Quiet Brook Holsteins consistently produces award-winning cows.

Mac Pate Dairy
Mac Pate – Maryville, Tenn.
Mac Pate began dairying when haying and feeding was still done by hand and milk was stored in cans. But, by adopting new ideas and embracing technology, Mac has watched his operation thrive.

Ornellas Dairy
Leroy Ornellas – Tracy, Calif.
Leroy Ornellas is a dairy farmer at heart. But, he also believes that to be successful, he needs the support of his community behind him. That’s why Leroy spends much of his time serving on his county’s board of supervisors and educating those around him about the dairy industry.