DALHART, Texas, Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Durability of partnerships is as impressive in business as it is in marriage, and dairy farmers Donald and Cheri De Jong have mastered both. As a testament to that durability, the dynamic husband and wife duo with a successful farming history have been named Top Producer of the Year for 2016.
The award from Top Producer, a division of Farm Journal media, identifies and honors agricultural producers who display impressive business practices.
"Being recognized by your peers is really humbling," said Donald. "It's a unique thing that Cheri and I have accomplished the last 26 years, being able to build and grow a company as a husband-and-wife team, and I really believe that that's why we got the award."
Beyond their unique partnership, Farm Journal says the De Jongs were honored for entrepreneurial originality, financial and business progress, and their leadership among their industry and community.
As Sarah Schafer of AgWeb.com notes, "Sound business principles, controlled risk-taking and entrepreneurship have been mantras of the couple since they began their dairy career in 1989."
And that strong business acumen has helped the De Jongs grow from 1,000 milking cows to over 17,000, producing milk for organic and conventional markets.
"Growth is essential, but those in farming know that there are boom years and there are bust years," said Cheri. "When you have the boom years, you need to take any money that you might make and put it in the bank because in a year or two, you're going to have a bust year."
She continued, "We spend a lot of time making sure that when we do grow, that we grow in a very meaningful way, and that we can do it within our means."
The De Jongs operate a centralized business, AgriVision Farm Management, which controls accounting, human resources, purchasing and inventory for all of their farm operations, which include Natural Prairie Dairy, Northside Farms and Jersey Gold Dairy. Cheri serves as Chief Financial Officer, while Donald serves as CEO.
"Farmers don't like to tout themselves, but as the farming community gets smaller, we need to take these opportunities to teach each other," said De Jong. "Programs like Top Producer help encourage our fellow farmers to mentor each other, and we're proud to be able to share the lessons we've learned."
To learn more, please visit agrivision.farm.
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SOURCE AgriVision Farm Management