Hockett Family, Green Valley Farms — Randleman, N.C.
Brothers Keith and Herschel Hockett were determined to continue dairying after the economic downturn of 2009 forced them out of the business. The family has now reentered dairying and built their dairy herd to 850 cows. In addition to making long-term investments in facilities and technology, the Hocketts also work to take care of their land for future generations.
de Boer Family, Fluit Dairy — Dublin, Texas
When Johan de Boer immigrated to the United States from Holland in the ’90s, he arrived with nothing more than a bag of clothes and a little bit of money. Today, he and his wife, Klazina, along with their three children, Ilse, Jilt and Jitse, help grow the operation which, milks more than 1,300 cows, farm 500 acres and leases another 1,100 acres where they grow wheat,corn and sorghum for feed. They credit their success to their commitment to their cows, their land and their employees.
Vlot Family, Vlot Brothers Dairy — Chowchilla, Calif.
Dirk and Case Vlot grew up helping their father milk 125 cows. More than 14 years after their father’s dairy closed, the brothers knew they wanted to reenter the business. Starting from the ground up, only ten miles from where their father’s dairy was located, the Vlots built their dairy operation to 6,000 cows and are raising 30,000 calves. Dirk is now expanding and has broken ground on a 3,300-head dairy in Smith Valley, Nev., near DFA’s new plant in Fallon.
Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) is a national dairy marketing cooperative that serves and is owned by more than 13,000 members on nearly 8,000 farms in 48 states. DFA also is one of the country’s most diversified manufacturers of dairy products, food components and ingredients, and is a leader in formulating and packaging shelf-stable dairy products.