The Dairy West is dedicated to supporting the health of Idaho schools, students and communities. Schools are the perfect forum to educate our youth on the importance of consuming healthful, nutrient-rich foods, being physically active, and taking care of their health. Research has shown that good health habits, including physical activity and consuming breakfast, lead to improved academic performance, improved memory and concentration, and decreased absences.
Through health and wellness grants and promotion, nutrition education materials and resources, and improved access to wholesome dairy foods, Dairy West wellness initiatives have touched many Idaho lives.
Nutrition plays a key role in a healthy lifestyle, and dairy is a doctor-recommended, established part of a healthy diet. The Idaho Dairy Council is a part of Dairy West and is a key resource for nutrition education and resources serving the state of Idaho.Recipes
When was the last time you visited a dairy farm or spoke with someone who works on a dairy farm? This is your opportunity to learn more about Idaho’s dairy farm families, ask farmers questions and hear from them directly! Our goal is connect you with our dairy farm families – and share information with consumers and industry partners.
How do you fuel your body for top performance? Dairy products provide the nutrients, hydration, protein and carbohydrates to keep achieving your nutrition goals. Whether you are a star athlete, or just starting out on your healthy lifestyle journey – dairy will help define what success means to you.
Dairy farmers invest in a variety of research opportunities for universities and companies which are developing and innovating new products. Funding opportunities for dairy research will be posted as they become available. Proposals will be considered annually. Are you interested in learning more? Contact Eric Bastian, Vice President of Industry Relations.
BUILD Dairy Program Fosters Growth of Dairy Industry
BUILD Dairy is a network of professors, researchers, students, and dairy food companies in the western region. The goal of this program is to increase the number of students conducting dairy food research and build a broader network of technically trained, knowledgeable professionals who will grow the dairy food industry through innovation and research. Research in Idaho is prioritized by the Idaho dairy industry supports the growing dairy industry in Idaho.
The BUILD Dairy Network includes:
Utah State University
Weber State University
Brigham Young University
Oregon State University
University of Idaho
Washington State University
Boise State University (newest member!)
Learn more here.
The dairy industry provides a wide variety of employment opportunities, and we are dedicated to connecting students with universities and industry leaders to create a sustainable workforce pipeline.
DEVELOPING GLOBAL MARKETS
Through partnerships with USDEC, ISDA and other global partners, we are dedicated to helping promote Idaho dairy products around the world. Buyers from around the globe benefit from dairy products sourced in Idaho. See calendar for upcoming trade opportunities.
There are so many ways to tell the dairy story – we just want to share it all with you! Stop back here for new videos, blogs, photos and more. Just can’t get enough? Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@DairyWest) and get more daily updates from our farm families, health collaborators and industry partners.
We are proud to share our press releases from major events, milestones and stories!
Cecelia W. Wright made a declaration early this spring. She said, “If I run out of my boot I’m leaving.”
We were chasing heifers in a wet muddy corral. She had ran into a soft spot and her boots were stuck in the wet manure. I assumed she meant she was leaving the corral and going home but with my recent faux paus on the anniversary gift she might have meant this was the last straw and that leaving meant really leaving. Vacating the premises. Cooking for myself. Learning how the washing machine works. It occurred to me it might be wise to run over and offer a hand while her boots were still on.
A good question is why I am having this grandmother of five helping me sort heifers in an open corral in the first place. I have employees who are faster, stronger, and don’t mind getting dirty. But the truth is I would rather have my wife of 43 years help me. She doesn’t run much but she knows where to stand. She knows where and when to move by what I’m doing and the look on my face. She also knows what “gdsmkrtfpthtr!!!!” means and if she should respond to it or just ignore it. She tends to ignore it. Sometimes teamwork is more important than athletic ability. I would rather have her help me because it just goes better.
But this isn’t just about Mrs. Wright, it’s about everyone that didn’t really sign up to chase cows. They didn’t dream about holding dirty tails, helping with tough calvings, or cleaning milk houses. It’s for everyone who never considered a dairy life but because of the person they married they have to stumble over dairy boots to get in the back door. Laundry has to be separated so the good clothes don’t carry the dairy with them. They also had to learn a variety of dairy jobs out of necessity.
The amazing part is how good they are at doing these jobs. Jobs that are important but don’t receive recognition. Jobs that may seem menial but if they don’t get done or are done poorly are huge. Jobs that make the dairy function better and the family live better. These people are all-stars.
Now if you think I’m going to include a picture of Mrs. Wright in her cow chasing clothes then you don’t know Cecelia W. Wright.
And if you think I’m going to close this with gushy, love, life partner stuff then you don’t know John W. Wright.
However, I will say this about Cecelia W. Wright. She is a good cow chaser.
- John W. Wright of Wright, Inc. Dairy in Wendell
When do you know you are really a bona fide dairyman? Is it when you milk the first cow? When you buy the first cow? The tenth? The 100th? Or could there be other criteria?
Here are some suggestions. You know you’re a Dairyman if:
To you “Calf Jack” doesn’t refer to a nickname or a tool to change a flat tire.
You have been in many serious discussions about what good manure looks like.
You wince a little when people say the smell of manure smells like money.
You have been inside a bulk tank.
You have done plumbing, electrical work, practiced medicine, and psychoanalysis without a license.
You think your singing voice sounds pretty good in the milk house.
You have asked a veterinarian what the correct dosage of a drug intended for animal use would be for a human about your size. Just curious.
You have ever asked a veterinarian to give you a ride to the hospital.
You have heard 10,000 milk truck driver stories. (About two month’s worth.)
You have stood in the middle of a corral at 3:00 in the morning and stared in wonderment at all the stars in the sky.
Your lovely wife has a Coach handbag, Gucci shoes and Muck Boots.
When a waitress gives you margarine everyone hears about it.
You are very comfortable discussing semen, teat dip, and heat cycles with anyone.
Your kids have their own rubber boots, even the 3-year old.
You can make a cow pee on a Ketone Strip.
You have had a long conversation with a cow about life then loaded her on a trailer and sold her.
You have been asked not to tell your interesting story about parasites to dinner guests.
You know what it is to roll on the ground wanting to cry after getting kicked but when you showed someone the injury there were no marks and no swelling thus--no sympathy.
You have strong opinions about the best gate latches.
You think the primary use for Ziploc bags are for hay samples.
You have cow vaccine in your kitchen refrigerator next to the ketchup.
You have thrown something at the TV because the smiley weather guy just predicted 5 more days of rain.
You have sorting sticks in your primary vehicle.
You have been in a restaurant dining with important people and you shushed them because you just heard someone at another table say, “For baby bulls I’m getting………..”
You have won a radio contest while milking cows.
You brag to someone you can bump a cow at 5 ½ months even though they have no idea what strange medieval ritual you’re talking about.
When the prices are low, equipment breaks down, and rain keeps coming down, you can’t help but think, “Things are only going to get better from here.”
When people friends try to sympathize with you about the 365 days, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day nature of the dairy business and you honestly say, “It’s not that bad, I kind of like it.”
- John W. Wright of Wright, Inc. Dairy in Wendell
I live on a schedule. Cows need to be milked twice a day and fed two times each day at least. We need to breed them two months after they calve, dry them up two months before they calve. Calves need to be weaned at two months then bred at 14 or 15 months so they calve at 24 months. This is the way it works on a dairy. We all know that. The closer we adhere to the schedule the better everything will be.
There is a problem. The world does not run on a schedule and whenever there is a conflict the world always wins. Over the years my precious schedule has been destroyed by breakdowns, cows out, power outages, dumb things cows do and dumb things people do. Then there were baseball games, Christmas programs and graduations to go to. Then there were family situations to deal with, relatives, and blasted funerals to go to.
How can you be successful if you can’t keep the schedule?
So I struggled to keep the dairy on track. The usual things, go late to baseball games, skip weddings and complain a lot. I was successful and learned what it means to win the battle and lose the war.
A friend told me I needed to remember to breathe. What? I didn’t have time to breathe. I could do that later when there would be time. For forty years I’ve been waiting for that extra time.
Dr. Tony Campolo, a sociologist, author, speaker, from Eastern College in Pennsylvania, cites a research project in his lectures that asked questions to a group of nonagenarians about life. These people, 90 years of age and older, were asked what they would do differently if they could live their life over again. One of the more common answers was that they would reflect more. Meaning they would pause more, look around, reevaluate, and remember what really matters at the end of the day. In other words they would breathe more. I wonder how many of them won the battle of the schedule but felt like they lost in the end.
Cows do better if they do the same thing every day. It has been proven over and over again. But I wonder if I would have done better had I have followed my friend’s advice or at least scheduled moments for breathing. Maybe I should have breathed more and saved myself the consternation, frustration, and a half dozen sorting sticks that splintered far too easily.
Now, there are fewer baseball games to go to. There are fewer Christmas programs and graduations. Other people deal with situations and all those things that I thought were keeping me from my duties. Still, I have to remember to stop and breathe otherwise I’ll miss all the important stuff that has yet to come.
Breathing. I should have started that a long time ago.
- John W. Wright of Wright, Inc. Dairy in Wendell
Sure, ninety percent of my income is from the sale of milk, but after I get it out of the cow, I just have to make sure it’s cold and clean. I just play defense when it comes to milk. I spend my time worrying about the four-legged animal that gave me the milk.
Some folks think that there isn’t much to worry about with a cow. They seem to think a 1,500-pound bovine creature is just a big pet that can be taught to poop in a box with sand in it and everyone should have one. I don’t think these people realize how much time I spend thinking about, talking about and just being with cows.
I spend a morning each week with the cow nutritionist at a local coffee shop discussing ruminant nutrition. It’s a fascinating conversation about rumen bugs, butyric acid, starch and digestible fiber that never fails to astound me. For reasons I don’t understand no one ever wants to join us. If someone does then as soon as we start delving into our fecal sample discussion they leave. I notice other diners also tend to start vacating their tables.
We have to have this discussion on what these cows eat so they are healthy and produce milk efficiently to make my dairy a profitable enterprise. We talk about the proper amount of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus and even the right levels of molybdenum. I worry more about what the cows eat than I ever did what my kids ate. We talk about minerals like molybdenum. I never knew if my kids ate enough molybdenum. I don’t even know if kids are supposed to eat molybdenum. If my kid’s minerals were out of whack maybe it would explain some teenage behavior. All I know is if my wife was taking a night off and I was left with the responsibility of feeding my kids I took them to McDonald’s and got them a Happy Meal not because I read the nutrition disclosure that McDonald’s provides but because it was easy and there was a toy that came with it. That’s not the way it is when it comes to the cows, they are going to get a proper diet. They are not going to get the Holstein equivalent of a drive-thru supersize meal I don’t care what this month’s transformer toy is.
My vet comes once a week to preg check cows. Does anyone outside of dairyland know that? Each cow on our farm can expect at least three such checks each lactation. I have two veterinarians, one is tall and thin while the other is built like sumo wrestler. They walk behind the cow and rectally palpate the cow while I write down all their profound statements. Now I have no way of knowing, since I refuse to believe I can communicate with cows, but I think they prefer the veterinarian with the long skinny arms as opposed to the one with the short fat arms. Just saying, three times they get palpated. If we took a vote I think skinny arms wins. Makes me glad I’m just the guy with the clipboard standing in front of the cow.
Getting cows bred takes a lot of effort. The breeder comes every morning around 6:30. He comes at this time because this is just after the morning feeding and I have the cows locked up in lock-up stanchions. The breeder, Mike, walks behind the cows putting orange chalk on their tails so when they ride each other the chalk will be worn off and he will know to breed them. He also puts orange chalk on the herd book, barn door and anything else he touches. I’m not always the most cheerful fellow at this time so sometimes he brings me donuts to try to make me less grumpy. They have orange smudges on them.
Many people decry the use of artificial insemination because I’m depriving the animal of a natural act. They would rather have me put bulls in the pen and use natural service. If these folks ever had to sprint out of a corral and vault a stanchion line, or, worse yet tried to squeeze between stanchions while feeling the rank hot breath of a deranged bull named “Caligula” they too in a deep solemn voice would say, “Oh yes, artificial insemination is the best.” Not only do you live longer but you get better genetics in the next generation. Still, not everyone agrees with me on this issue. They prefer bulls. But these are the same crazy people who BASE Jump or marry The Bachelorette.
It’s all about a cow. The first thing I do in the morning is check the close-up pen to see if anybody calved or needs help calving. That’s Dairy 101: Thou shalt check the close-up cows first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Every young dairyman is told that. You do this because that’s the most critical time in the lactation of a cow. You also check throughout the day because you never know when calves come and what trouble there might be. I have known some dairymen who almost lived in their close-up pen but I think this could have been more a marital situation rather than an animal husbandry issue.
So I spend each day managing, talking about, and thinking about a ruminant animal. How to get her bred, how to get her to eat one more pound, and how to keep her comfortable. If I’m successful maybe I can get a few more pounds of milk in the tank to sell or cut a few cents off costs.
People who visit dairies tell me how impressed they are by the big nice barns and all the automation. They see big tractors and feed equipment they didn’t know existed. I agree with them because there are dairies that are very impressive. But all the impressive stuff is there for a reason and that is to take care of cows. Because at the end of the day - it’s all about a cow.
- John W. Wright of Wright, Inc. Dairy in Wendell
HAPPY NEW YEAR! If you’re like most people you are probably thinking about improving your health. Starting an exercise program can seem daunting to someone with an already packed schedule. But, we have good news! Research shows getting fit doesn't require that much time.
· Increments of 10 minutes throughout the day can be just as effective for weight loss and health as an hour-long workout. We all have 10 minutes!
· Many people find it easier to stick with shorter workouts. Make it part of your lifestyle!
· Short bouts of exercise can also help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Planning an exercise routine that is short and fun does not have to cost a lot of money. We have a free download for you that you can complete in just 7 minutes. The 7-minute workout is easy to do at work or at home and only requires a wall, a chair and your own body weight.
Remember, chocolate milk is a delicious way to fuel your body for any workout! Be sure and visit www.idahodairy.com for more resources! As always, resources are free for all Idaho educators and health professionals! Dairy West wishes you and your family a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
- April Bruns, Health and Wellness Manager
We represent dairy farm families and promote the dairy industry and dairy products locally, nationally and globally. We are passionate what we do, every day because we believe in our dairy farm families as they provide the world with safe and nutritious food.
Dairy West Mission: Creating a world where farmers and the dairy industry prosper and, together, build healthy communities around the globe.
Dairy West is a USDA qualified program based in Boise, Idaho which will continue the marketing and promotion work for Idaho’s dairy farm families. This is an exciting evolution in the nation-wide checkoff system, and will work side-by-side with the Idaho Dairy Products Commission, fulfilling the mission of ensuring the prosperous future of dairy farming in the west.
Karianne Fallow, CEO (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jenn Nelson, Senior Vice President - Innovation Partnerships (email@example.com)
Kristi Spence, Senior Vice President - Marketing (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jason Kajkowski, Vice President - Finance (email@example.com)
Cindy Miller, Vice President - Integrated Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Eric Bastian, Vice President - Industry Relations (email@example.com)
Crystal Wilson, Vice President - Health and Wellness (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pam Fry, Director of Finance (email@example.com)
Shawna Hagerty, Director of Operations (Shagtery@dairywest.com)
Melinda Petersen, Producer and Community Relations Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Greg Kreller, Integrated Communications Manager (email@example.com)
Tim Pierson, Innovation Parnterships Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jaclyn St. John, Health and Wellness Manager (email@example.com)
Becky Low Health & Wellness Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)
April Bruns, Health and Wellnes Manager (email@example.com)
Heather Hodges, Finance Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Andrea Tinnesand, Innovation Partnerships Coordinator (email@example.com)
Calla Chapin, Health and Wellness Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Crystal Quallio, Business Coordinator (email@example.com)
Dairy West Board of Directors
Tom Dorsey, Chairman (Marsing,ID)
Steve Ballard, Vice-Chairman (Gooding, ID)
Josh Webb, Treasurer (Declo, ID)
John Brubaker, Secretary (Buhl, ID)
Chace Fullmer, (Sigurd, UT)
Dan Gilbert (Blackfoot, ID)
Jeff Hardy, (Brigham City, UT)
Mike Siegersma (Nampa, ID)
Matt Leak, (Cornish, UT)
Pete Wiersma (Buhl, ID)
Clint Jackson (Meridian, ID)
Winfield Anderson (Blackfoot, ID)
Idaho Dairy Products Commission Board of Directors
Mike Siegersma, Chairman (Nampa, ID)
Brian Esplin, Vice Chairman (Shelley, ID)
John W Wright, IDPC (Wendell, ID)
Bernie Teunissen, IDPC (Nampa, ID)
Tom Dorsey (Marsing, ID)
John Brubaker (Buhl, ID)
Dan Gilbert (Blackfoot, ID)
Dave Veenhouwer (Jerome, ID)
Kim Korn (Terreton,ID)
Idaho Dairymen’s Association Board of Directors
Pete Wiersma, President (Buhl, ID)
Arie Roeloffs, Secretary/Treasurer (Wendell, ID)
Willie Bokma (Twin Falls, ID)
Kim Wolfley (Blackfoot, ID)
Don Heida (Kuna, ID)
Chris Stevenson (Jerome, ID)
Allan Swainston (Preston, ID)
Ted Vanderschaaf (Kuna, ID)
Tony De Wit (Wendell, ID)
Producer Product Donation/Reimbursement
Dairy West is committed to supporting the community engagement efforts of Idaho and Utah dairy farm families in their local communities. To serve this cause, each dairy producer may receive reimbursement for dairy products of his/her choosing for community events each year. The value of dairy products is not to exceed $200 per dairy permit per year. For producer with multiple permits, a $600 per year maximum applies. This reimbursement is designated to the permit holder/producer based solely on the permit holder’s name on file with the producer's State Department of Agriculture. Dairy West does not endorse the consumption of raw milk, therefore raw products are not eligible for reimbursement in this program.
If you would like educational handouts for this event, please contact Melinda Petersen, 208-810-7561 ten days prior to your event.
Dairy Tour Resources
Do you host on-farm dairy tours? Would you like some resources to help tell your story, make your content age-specific? Free tour guide materials are available. We will also send you age-specific hand outs to share with your guests! In addition, Dairy West offers reimbursement for dairy products purchased to support dairy tours. Please fill out this request form.
Stay informed about events, activities and industry news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for your quarterly e-newsletter here. This newsletter is for dairy producers exclusively.
Next Annual Meeting: Nov. 7-8, 2018 at the Boise Centre.
|1957||Charles C. Hart||Filer|
|.||George Vaughn||New Plymouth|
|1958||L.J. Tenckinck||Twin Falls|
|.||Charles J. Pritzl||New Plymouth|
|.||Thomas E. Maberly||Rupert|
|1962||Albert H. Jagels||Buhl|
|.||Robert D. Williams||Boise|
|1963||Richard V. Keim||Nampa|
|.||Don Pack||Idaho Falls|
|1975||Kent Paynter||New Plymouth|
|1977||Richard R. Lee. Jerome Ray West||Boise|
|1985||Wes Schuldies||St. Anthony|
|1988||Harold “Ray” Stueve||Bonners Ferry|
|1993||Gerald W. Dirkson||Meridian|
|1996||Dale E. Williams||Filer|
|.||Leonard “Pete” George||Homedale|
|.||Ruth Ann Jensen||Montpelier|
|1999||Irvin Ehlers||Twin Falls|
|.||Alvin Smutny||Twin Falls|
|2004||Dr. Bill Stouder||Buhl|
|2008||Mike Quesnell||Twin Falls|
|2009||Mary Ellen Roth||Jerome|
|2012||Art Lee||New Plymouth|
|2016||Lynn Pack||Idaho Falls|
Milk Quality Award Winners
|2016||Jay Hurren||Hurren Dairy||Weston||Gossner|
|2015||Adrian Kroes and Mike Siegersma||SunRidge Dairy||Nampa||Sorrento Lactlis|
|2014||James Bazil||J-O Bazil Dairy||Rigby||Snake River|
|2013||John and Rhonda Rietkerk||Rietkerk Dairy #2||Wendell||Glanbia|
|2012||Wynn Nielson||Hawarden Jerseys Inc||Preston||Gossner|
|2011||Andrew & Jerome & Clement Fitzgerald||4 Bros Dairy Inc – Dairy #4||Shoshone||Glanbia|
|2010||John and Rhonda Rietkerk||Rietkerk Dairy #2||Wendell||Glanbia|
|2009||Tom Heida||Box Canyon Dairy #3||Wendell||Glanbia|
|2008||John and Rhonda Rietkerk||Rietkerk Dairy #2||Wendell||Glanbia|
|2008||Ryan Visser||South View Dairy #2||Wendell||Jerome Cheese|
|2007||Jay Hurren||Jay Hurren Dairy||Preston||Gossner|
|2006||H. Ward Nielson||Hawarden Jerseys||Preston||Gossner|
|2005||Ed Vande Voorde||Vande Voorde Dairy||Parma||Sorrento Lactalis|
|2004||Jay Hurren||Jay Hurren Dairy||Preston||Gossner|
|2003||H. Ward Nielson||Hawarden Jerseys. Inc||Preston||Gossner|
|2002||Riley Mickelson||Life-O-Riley Holsteins||Grace||Gossner|
|2001||Lorie Goodsell||Goodsell Dairy||Meridian||Glanbia|
|2000||Lorie Goodsell||Goodsell Dairy||Meridian||Glanbia|
|1999||Richard and Kathy Stoker||Richard Stoker Dairy||Bloomington||DFA|
|1998||Jeff and Carla Carson||Jeff Carson Dairy||Burley||Kraft|
|1997||Kenny Vanderham||Vanderham Dairy||Jerome||Darigold|
|1996||Steve and Stacey Ballard||Ballard Family Dairy||Gooding||Avonmore|
|1995||Curt and Betty Anderson||Curt Anderson Dairy||Richfield||Avonmore|
|1994||Craig and Cindy Kamper||Cracin Holsteins||Meridian||WDCI|
|1993||Ed and Christa Lucero||Morningstar Dairy||Richfield||Avonmore|
|1992||Bob Krucker||Long View Dairy||Jerome||Darigold|
|1991||Lee and Kevin Rehder||Rehder Farm||Cottonwood||Darigold|
|1990||Lee and Kevin Rehder||Rehder Farm||Cottonwood||Darigold|
|1989||Lee and Kevin Rehder||Rehder Farm||Cottonwood||Darigold|
Let us know how you would like to be more engaged with events and activities in your community, or with the dairy industry in general
We have many ways you can participate in checkoff activities. Here are just a few ideas:
The Dairy Ambassador Program is designed to provide educational and hands-on experiences and leadership training for dairy producers interested in furthering their professional journey. It encourages dairy producers to become leaders in the industry through involvement with board and staff functions, planning sessions and regional and national checkoff events. Funded through producer investment, the ambassador program is a mutual investment in time and resources to promote leadership within the checkoff program, and the industry.
Components of this program include:
Hear from Michael Siegserma, 2016 Ambassador Program Participant.