Innovative dairy group wins sector’s top award

The East of Olds Dairy Farmer Study Club is the recipient of the Alberta dairy industry’s top award.

“This year’s recipients are particularly special as they are fellow dairy farmers,” Alberta Milk chair Tom Kootstra said when presenting this year’s Dairy Industry Achievement Award.

“This group truly is the essence of what the DIAA is because of its ability to inspire other farmers, and close the gap between farmers and consumers.”

The study club was started in 2003 when a few individuals from the east of Olds area started a group based on a similar model they experienced in Holland. They had kitchen table meetings to learn more about various topics like estate planning or herd health. The core ideal of the club is the desire to know more and do better.

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The group’s members also started Breakfast on the Dairy Farm, with the inaugural event in 2012 attracting more than 300 people. There are now two other events, with several thousand enjoying a hot breakfast on a local dairy farm and meeting the people who produce milk.

“As committed dairy farmers we strive to do our best and show the public that we take good care of our animals and produce quality milk,” said Miranda Verhoef, a member of the group and a dairy farmer near Bowden.

“As a group, we like to take the opportunities to learn from each other, to involve the next generation of farmers, and to engage with our local consumers.”

Earlier this year, the group won the Award of Distinction for Communication from Alberta Farm Animal Care.

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