Lely North America is proud to announce Dustin Takes of Takes Dairy Farm in Ely, Iowa, has been named the winner of the prestigious The Way to Dairy Award.
Dustin Takes was given this top honor for being a dairy farmer who best demonstrates and lives by the standards of sustainability and innovation while being an animal care advocate who is involved in the dairy industry. Takes, who was selected by a panel of independent, dairy-industry experts, will receive his choice of a new Lely Astronaut A5 milking system or a recently re-launched Vector feeding system.
Lely North America announced the award earlier this year as a way to recognize the owners of the most progressive dairy operations in North America. These owners want to maximize each cow’s potential, while changing the daily tasks of the dairy to be more sustainable, profitable, and enjoyable.
Takes is involved in a thriving family dairy operation, dedicated to finding innovative solutions to continue supporting the dairy economy while maintaining the health and productivity of the herd. In an essay submitted for the award, Takes wrote that at Takes Dairy Farm and its subsidiary, Dan and Debbie’s Creamery, they feed a growing global population by using their raw milk as the single-source used daily at their creamery.
“Adding value to our raw milk commodity through the production and marketing of finished dairy goods is one of the many ways we are directly helping to feed a growing global population,” Takes wrote. “As the world’s population continues to grow, achieving global food security through the production of nutritious dairy — with sustainability in mind — is arguably one of the greatest challenges we face today.”
“Takes operates a progressive-minded dairy operation that exemplifies the values that Lely strives to recognize,” said Chad Huyser, Vice President Lely North America. “We are proud to award one of the best dairy farms in the industry, the best automation on the market, supported by their local Lely Center, Eastern Iowa Dairy.”
Takes was one of four finalists for this award which included: Charles Carter of Carterly Farm, Inc. in Indiana; Kasey Hudson of Baker’s Golden Dairy in Ohio and Emily den Haan of Haanview Farms in Ontario, Canada. Each of these finalists were awarded a $20,000 Lely voucher that can be used with their local Lely Center to help them further their journey in dairy automation. Lely Centers span the U.S. and Canada from Quebec to Kentucky across the plains to California and into western Canada to serve dairy farmers across North America.