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Foremost Farms celebrates 100 years in Preston


Fri, Jun 4th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Foremost Farms USA claims on their website to "provide dairy producers a financially strong business that efficiently assembles, processes and markets milk and related dairy products, providing superior value to our customers." While this is a strong promise, farmers in Preston and the surrounding southeastern Minnesota area have been doing that exact same thing for a century, with the Preston-located dairy cooperative now known as Foremost Farms.

In 1910, 57 area farmers got together to form the Preston Co-op Creamery, where the dairy producers bottled milk and made butter. The small Co-op would go on to become part of Foremost Farms, one of the largest dairy cooperatives in the nation. This year marks the 100-year anniversary of those farmers' first step into the dairy co-op business.

In 1970, the Preston Co-op Creamery merged with a Waucon, Iowa, creamery to become Meadowland Dairy Association.

"That allowed more market access and flexibility," explained John Ebner, plant manager of Foremost Farms in Preston. "It also allowed more patrons as it got a little larger."

In 1979, Meadowland Dairy merged with Wisconsin Dairies Cooperative and, in 1995, they formed with Guernsey Dairy Cooperative of Milwaukee to form the widely-known Foremost Farms today.

One of the many changes between the Preston Co-op Creamery in 1910 and as it is today is what they produce. While the Preston plant started out producing cheese and milk, it now focuses on dry blends.

"The majority of the patron milk here in Fillmore County is now going to cheese plants in Wisconsin," Ebner explained. "What's occurring is when they make the cheese (in Wisconsin), they have bi-products from the process itself and that's what we process here at this plant. We bring back a whey-protein concentrate that's called 'WPC' and we dry that."

The Foremost Farms plant in Preston also focused on dry products in the late 1960's throughout the early 80's when they produced dry whole milk powder for the M&M Mars Corporation. They would then ship the product to Chicago where the company would use the Preston product in their chocolate.

"As the dairy business evolved and that market went away, we transitioned more into drying the cheese bi-products," Ebner said.

Dave Scheevel, of Preston, is the chairman of the board of directors for Foremost Farm. He was elected to the board in 1997 and became chairman in 2008. His job includes seeing th .....
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64

A tale of two (or three) princesses: Fillmore County Dairy Princesses

Fri, Jun 4th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

It was the best of businesses, it was the worst of businesses, some might say, but for the young women representing the dairy industry in the role of Dairy Princess, it's a business that is near and dear to their hearts. To run for a position as dai ..... 
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4-H Dairy Project Bowl

Fri, Jun 4th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

What compartment of the cow's stomach is referred to as the "paunch"? What does MO stand for? Name four management practices that can prevent navel illness in newborn calves. What does IBR stand for?

If you can answer any of these questions, ..... 
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4-H Dairy Project Bowl

Fri, Jun 4th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

What compartment of the cow's stomach is referred to as the "paunch"? What does MO stand for? Name four management practices that can prevent navel illness in newborn calves. What does IBR stand for?

If you can answer any of these questions, ..... 
[Read the Rest]

The Wingert family

Fri, Jun 4th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

For the Wingert family in Harmony, farming is a part of their history, and has been a part of their entire lives. They are now sharing this life with their children, and passing the love of farming on to them.

Jim and Randi Wingert both grew ..... 
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Dairy Statistics

Fri, Jun 4th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

America's dairy industry is more than milk. It's jobs and economic activity for the people of our country. It's also a way of life for more than 60,000 farm families.

William Hoard, founder of Hoard's Dairyman magazine and former Wisconsin ..... 
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Got Milk? I mean, "goat" milk?

Fri, Jun 4th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

June is National Dairy Month. Undoubtedly, the word dairy itself conjures up some image of a bovine, likely a large, black and white Holstein. However, estimates indicate that 70-80 percent of the world population consumes not creamy cow's milk, but ..... 
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"Welcome, Locals!" Lanesboro Farmer's Market opens June 2

Thu, Jun 3rd, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Wednesday afternoons in Lanesboro the local farmer's market honors and caters to local trade. "We set up a special preview market every Wednesday from June through September to make it easy for area residents to shop, visit and avoid the Saturday cr ..... 
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Quality is King for U.S. Farmland Buyers Keeping Prices Near Their Peaks

Thu, Jun 3rd, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Despite the uncertain mood still present in many economic sectors, the U.S. farmland market remains steady to strong thanks to continued investor interest in high quality land. In recent months, the demand for high quality farmland has increased, whi ..... 
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