Read the Progressive Dairy Canada digital edition

I belong to... Progressive Dairy Operators: Ben Loewith

Published on 30 June 2015
Ben Loewith

Age: 40

Location: Hamilton, Ontario



Your agricultural background, in a nutshell: My grandparents, Joe and Minna Loewith, arrived in Canada in 1938 after fleeing Czechoslovakia.

They purchased our present farm in 1947. Presently, the farm is managed by my father, Carl, my uncle Dave and myself.

If I were not a dairyman … Either a bank manager or a funeral director. Although these choices seem very odd, both occupations rely on effective interpersonal relations with an entrepreneurial element.

I have been a member of PDO since … My father was one of the founding directors of the group, and I have personally been a member since 2000.

A little-known fact about this organization is … The original purpose of the organization was to help freestall operators learn from each other. At that time, the vast majority of Ontario dairy farms were tiestall, and there was very little extension expertise to assist freestall operations.


My favourite representative of this organization is … Another founding member of the group was Jack Rodenburg. Jack worked for OMAFRA at that time, and even though he is now retired, he remains a very active member of PDO, and his passion and energy for the dairy industry are enviable.

What the organization does best is … I feel our strength is in the phenomenal tours and symposiums that the group puts on every year. Our philosophy has always been that we will bring in the best speakers, and go and see the best farms, regardless of where in the world they exist. We have brought in speakers from countless countries and taken tour groups all over the world.

I feel valued as a member when … After every event, the directors have a meeting to review the feedback that is received from the participants. This feedback is a huge driver in forming the direction of the next event. We look at what the participants are interested in and what ideas failed to gain traction.

An influential or interesting person I have met through this organization is … To me, it is not so much about the individual people you meet but rather the opportunity to discuss dairy issues from different perspectives.

The tours and symposiums allow you to interact with extension personnel, agricultural bankers, nutritionists, processors and other individuals who make their living from the dairy industry. It really forces you to view industry challenges from outside your natural perspective as a producer.

The dairy industry’s greatest opportunity is … The future of Canada’s dairy industry will depend on continued gains in efficiency. Whether we choose to focus on efficiency of land use, labour, water, genetics or natural resources, our ability to produce more milk with fewer resources will allow Canada to remain competitive in a market that increasingly has purchasing options.


I hope my dairy legacy is … I try to propose and support industry reform that is good for the long-term health of the entire Canadian dairy industry. I hope my legacy is that I had the courage to support change that created a stronger, profitable and more competitive industry, regardless of the popularity of those changes.

My advice to all dairymen/dairywomen is ... Surround yourself with the best advisers, experts and peers that you can, and follow their advice. The goals of your operation are your own, but there are many people who can help you achieve them.  PD

Progressive Dairy Operators (PDO)
16 Blue Forest Cr.
Guelph, ON N1H 6J2
Phone 519-515-9956

Founded: 2008

Members: 500+

Mission Statement:
To provide opportunities through leadership, experience and educational program delivery to dairy farmers.