For the love of dairy and football

For the love of dairy and footballDairy farmers have many hats to wear, and no one knows that better than Walt Coleman.

As a fifth-generation family operator at the Coleman Dairy near Little Rock, Ark., Coleman helps provide milk and dairy products to eight Southeastern states and the Caribbean. He also serves on local boards and associations, including the Little Rock Boys and Girls Club, and is the former president of the Arkansas Dairy Products Association.

But Coleman can also normally be seen each week as an official with the National Football League (NFL).  He first served as a line judge in 1989, and six seasons later, he was promoted to referee, according to a report by, available here.  

It may be awhile before NFL fans will see Coleman back on the field, however. The Washington Post reports here that NFL referees are currently on lock-out and no agreement is in sight as the regular season begins. If contract issues can be resolved, Coleman will be wearing uniform number 65.

Coleman's background as both a football official and dairy farmer can be traced to his father, Walter W.C. "Buddy" Coleman, who officiated in the Southwest Conference for 26 years, including 250 college games,  15 bowl games and 2 National Championships. Both father and son have been inducted in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, as reported by  Read more here.