CHATFIELD, Minn., Dec. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Minnesota Milk Producers Association named Hinckley Holsteins, a family owned and operated farm in Chatfield, Minn., as its Minnesota 2014 Producer of the Year on Dec. 3 during the Minnesota Milk Dairy Conference and Expo in St. Cloud.
Dale and Marlys Hinckley and their sons, Matt and Adam, were selected for their commitment and dedication to the dairy industry, managing their farm for future generations and being active in their local community.
The Hinckleys, along with seven full-time employees, oversee 400 cows and nearly 4,000 acres of crops. Established in 1981, Hinckley Holsteins started out with Dale and Marlys having half ownership of 26 cows on a rented farm in Fillmore County. In 1990, they purchased land in Olmsted County, moved to their current location and continued expanding. In recent years, Dale and Marlys’s sons Matt and Adam have taken the lead on managing the day-to-day operations of the farm, with plans to one day it take over entirely.
Hinckley Holsteins has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Today, the farm uses state-of-the-art technology to help get the job done. To conserve energy and improve cow comfort, LED lights were installed in the free stall barn. A robotic feeder monitors cow growth and wellness. Software manages feed usage and GPS satellites assist in harvesting the crops.
“We are honored to have been named Minnesota Producers of the Year,” said Dale. “We take great pride in our farm, as we plan to keep it in our family for many generations. Marlys and I have started to step back on the daily management of the farm as Matt and Adam take the reins, but that hasn’t stopped us from promoting the dairy industry that we love.”
In fact, the entire Hinckley family has been involved in dairy promotion. Dale spent 12 years on the Fillmore County DHIA board, serving four of those years as president. He continues to serve as a delegate on the state DHIA board. Dale and Marlys hosted “Breakfast on the Farm” and a Harvest Mass church service, allowing those from the country and city alike to get a closer look at farm life. Both Hinckley daughters, Holly and Paula, served as county and region dairy princesses, and Matt and Adam have both judged dairy competitions. The Hinckleys’ 13 grandchildren are now becoming involved in 4-H, FFA and showing cattle.
“Hinckley Holsteins serves as a shining example to others in the dairy industry,” said Bob Lefebvre, Minnesota Milk Producers Association executive director. “The Hinckleys’ advocacy of the dairy industry has been terrific, and it’s great to see the tradition of farming being carried on from generation to generation.”
To learn more about Hinckley Holsteins, visit www.mnmilk.org/poy.