BUFFALO, Minn., Dec. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Minnesota Milk Producers has named Krause Holsteins of Buffalo, Minn., as its Minnesota 2013 Producer of the Year during the Midwest Dairy Expo in St. Cloud. Owned and managed by Charles Krause, Krause Holsteins is the 13th producer to receive this annual honor.
Krause Holsteins is operated by Charles and Robyn, their children, Andrew and Morgan, and Charles' parents, Warren and Carol Krause and was selected for their commitment and dedication to the community, future generations and the dairy industry.
Charles Krause, who today manages the 475-acre farm with 165 milking cows, is a fourth-generation farmer that has focused efforts to make the farm environmentally sustainable. Improvements have included installing energy-saving variable speed fans attached to thermostats, a variable speed vacuum pump in their milking parlor, using LED lighting, and attaching and recovering heat from the milking process in order to cool the milk. The family has also chopped newspaper for cattle bedding for 13 years, reusing more than 1.3 million pounds of newspaper over that time.
"We are always looking for ways to be sustainable and to be good stewards of the land," said Charles Krause. "My parents have always been big supporters of the dairy and they see how new technology will make our cows more comfortable and productive as well." That support led the family to build a new free-stall barn last year, and begin to separate solids from the cow manure to dry and re-use for animal bedding. Liquid manure is injected into the crop land, providing a natural source of fertilizer.
Making that "green" decision has also been part of the Krause Holsteins' priority of cow comfort. Thirty-two temperature-controlled 52-inch fans provide ventilation in the new barn.
Proving that comfortable cows respond with more milk production, the Krauses experienced a 10-pound per day increase in milk per cow in the new housing.
"Krause Holsteins are a premier example of the future of dairy farmers," said Bob Lefebvre, Minnesota Milk Producers Association executive director. "The family's commitment to sustainable farming and a focus of the care and comfort of every animal are wonderful examples that others in the industry can learn and benefit."
In order to help people understand dairy farming and how it assures people of health and wholesome food, Krause has spoken at Minnesota Vikings events and school assemblies, three Retail Grocer Academies and a variety of community events. "I try to talk not only about our farm, but about all of the nearly 4,000 dairy farm families in Minnesota," he says.
The farm has also played host to numerous tour groups, including high school classes and foreign visitors. Krause Holsteins will be the host for the 2014 Wright County Breakfast on the Farm, an annual event that attracts about 2,500 people. As the Krause family looks to the future, the farm is now on a growth phase and focused on expanding the milking herd to 250 cows.
A video describing Krause Holsteins can be viewed at http://youtu.be/v7ikopy_l7Y.
ABOUT THE MINNESOTA MILK PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION
The Minnesota Milk Producers Association serves as the "Voice of Minnesota's Dairy Industry," a grassroots organization for the industry with a democratically elected board of dairy farmer directors. Its mission is to promote a positive image for the dairy industry while protecting dairy producers' business interests and way of life. For more information, visit www.mnmilk.org.
SOURCE Minnesota Milk Producers Association