In a recent article in Minnesota Farm Guide, the Young Cooperator members of Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI), a leading Midwest dairy cooperative, toured three member farms in northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota, and the cooperative’s cheese manufacturing facility in Sanborn, Iowa. A record-setting 60 members and their families, totaling more than 100 attendees, participated in the annual event that provides cooperative education to members age 40 and under.
While in Minnesota, the group visited Ruth Luettel and her sons, Dean and Brad near Adrian, who operate Luettel Dairy. Two Lely robots were installed on their farm in May 2015 to milk the 120-cow herd. The average daily milk production of the herd increased 10 pounds following installation of the robots. In addition to the milking herd, the Luettels also farm 700 acres of corn, soybeans, oats and alfalfa, and farrow 30-60 sows each year.
The group toured a 4,000-cow dairy five miles east of the co-op’s cheese manufacturing plant near Sanborn. They also toured a dairy near Ellsworth, Minn with a 125-cow registered Holstein herd that focuses on breeding cows with exceptional feet and legs, udder and milk components.
Milk from these farms is hauled to the co-op’s cheese plant in Sanborn. The facility processes 1.4 million pounds of milk and produces 140,000 pounds of cheese each day. Mild Cheddar cheese produced in Sanborn placed first in the 2015 World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest.
AMPI is headquartered in New Ulm, Minn., and owned by 2,500 Midwest dairy farm families from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. AMPI members annually market about 5.8 billion pounds of milk, resulting in $2.2 billion in sales for the cooperative.
Read the entire article here.