The National Young Cooperators (YC) Program provides up-and-coming leaders in the dairy industry with a better understanding of issues facing farmers and cooperatives. The program, managed by the National Milk Producers Federation, provides year-round educational opportunities to inform and build leadership abilities in the next generation of dairy farmers.
Here at First District Association, our Young Cooperator board consists of couples and individuals under the age of 45. This group meets and plans various events throughout the year. These events include a Bingo Night where food shelf donations are taken to give to the Melrose Area Food Shelf, a summer picnic hosted at one of our member-owners farms, a women’s night event in the fall. They also help at other First District Association events throughout the year.
Every year, through a nomination process, First District Association awards one young couple or individual with the Young Cooperator of the Year award. The award is meant to recognize a young couple or individual who has a strong passion for the dairy industry and is actively involved in the dairy industry as well as their local community. This year’s Young Cooperator of the Year award goes to Adam and Jenny Kalthoff.
Adam and Jenny, along with their three children, own and operator Pondview Acres. Before taking over the farm from Adam’s parents, they were both very active on their family farms helping with daily chores, milking and field work. Adam is now full time on the farm, while Jenny is a full-time large animal veterinarian in addition to helping daily on the farm.
Both individuals have a strong passion for the industry, which is evident the moment you talk to them. The Kalthoffs stay involved in many different agriculture related groups. They say they do so to learn more about the dairy industry and bring back what they learned to their farm. As a family, they are also very active in their local catholic school helping coordinate several events and fundraisers throughout the year.
Both Adam and Jenny are active within the cooperative. They serve on the Young Cooperators Board and help with events throughout the year, including the Winter Conference, Bingo Night, Summer Picnic, and most recently at the cooperative’s 100th anniversary celebration. Adam also serves as the Unit B Vice President for the cooperative.
Adam and Jenny will have the opportunity to attend the National Milk Producers Federation YC Annual Meeting this coming fall to further their knowledge of industry related topics.