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Find out more about dairy farmers and industry experts, including the producers behind unique dairy operations and innovative management strategies.

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Gert Schrijver and his wife, Sonja, started Mars Dairy near Stettler, Alberta, in 1996 after immigrating from the Netherlands. At the time, they were milking 50 cows. Today, they have 230 cows (370 kilograms of quota), 260 heifers and 850 acres. They also recently achieved the highest milk production in Alberta at more than 14,000 litres of milk per cow in 305 days.

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As you may recall, our June issue featured four on-farm processors from a panel presentation at the Canadian Dairy XPO. Since dairy products are key ingredients in holiday baking, Progressive Dairyman asked each of the panelists what added promotions they do for the Christmas season.

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Baseball season was a little more interesting this year for Ontario dairy farmer Derek van Dieten. Van Dieten, who milks 90 purebred Holsteins on his dairy in midwestern Ontario, decided to match each home run from the Toronto Blue Jays during this year’s World Series play-offs with a donation of 100 litres of milk that would then go to local food banks.

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After swinging a machete for several hours in the sweltering heat of the tropics, I was begging for a little mercy and a long break. I asked Cusa, the owner of this 22-hectare farm, if she saw any barrier to being a farmer in Cuba. “No,” she answered calmly, “nothing.”

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She’s bright, cheerful, welcoming – and very passionate about life and her dairy business. Raised on a farm with a beef feedlot in the Cobourg, Ontario, area, along with a sister and two brothers, Cynthia Crowley wasn’t planning a career in the dairy business.

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The Baas family, parents Wiebe and Akke with sons Jan and Bert, emigrated from Holland in 1996. They settled northwest of Edmonton, near Barrhead, Alberta, purchasing a quarter-section of land (160 acres) with an existing dairy operation.

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