Signed in as:
Signed in as:
Jenni Browning – American Dairy Association of Indiana
Jenni Browning, MS, RD, CD, is the Chief Executive Officer of American Dairy Association Indiana, Inc., (ADAI). As an ADAI veteran, Jenni previously served as Senior Director of Communications & Wellness and as Director of Communications. From those positions, she directed program partnerships between the dairy association and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana State Fair, the 500 Festival and Indianapolis Zoo, among others. She also led all ADAI communications including social media, traditional media, website, crisis and issues. Jenni, a native of Anderson, is a Ball State University graduate who received BSU’s Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2018, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics of Indiana’s Media Award in 2016. She is a past president of the East Central Indiana Dietetic Association and the Indiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and has served on numerous boards of directors including Action for Healthy Kids and Kids TRI for Kids. She resides in Carmel with husband Greg and son Reed.
Andrew Kuehnert – Kuehnert Dairy Farm
Andrew Kuehnert graduated from Purdue University in 2008, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics. Currently he is employed by ADM Animal Nutrition where he manages a team of eleven individuals across Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan working with various animal agriculture nutrition programs. Andrew also operates and co-owns Kuehnert Dairy Farm with his brother Nathan, located in Fort Wayne. Andrew and Nathan are the 5th generation of Kuehnerts to be milking, extending back 125 years. They currently are milking 300 registered Holsteins, which each produce 90 pounds of milk daily, and the milk is received by 4 Lely robots and the use of their conventional milking parlor. The Kuehnert brothers strive every day to produce the highest quality milk possible, take the upmost care of their animals, as well as being true stewards to the land they use. In addition to the farm, the Kuehnert family operates Kuehnert Dairy Fall Festival each fall where they open up their doors to the public and allow thousands of visitors each year to see what they do on a daily basis. The festival continues to grow and will celebrate the 10th year of operation this year. It is the Kuehnert family’s passion to share their story about milking cows and the importance of dairy in nutrition. Andrew and Nathan plan to continue on the family’s legacy of dairy farming by creating a sustainable future for the next generation of Kuehnerts.
Jill Houin – Homestead Dairy
Born in New Jersey and never being on a farm, it was a culture shock when she married a dairy farmer named Brian Houin in 2004. Learning to adapt to the country lifestyle, she retired from teaching in 2016 and has become the calf manager at Homestead Dairy, in Plymouth, Indiana. Now she manages the calves, does all the social media, manages the website, and gives all the tours. Having no background in agriculture or dairy, she has a passion for teaching consumers about the dairy industry and the way farmers care for their animals and for the environment. Homestead Dairy is a 4th generation farm that milks 4800 cows on three different sites. The three sites all have different parlors. The Main farm milks 1800 cows on a double 25 parallel parlor, the Legacy farm milks 700 cows on a double 12 parallel and the robotic facility milks cows with robots. The two parlors are milking the cows three times a day. At the robotic facility, the cows are free to choose how many times they come into get milked, it could be two times a day and it could be four or five times a day. It is up to the individual cow.
Tim Haynes – Superior Dairy
Tim Haynes’s family is the sixth generation to milk cows on their farm. In 1997, the family began the robotic dairy, Superior Dairy LLC. The ownership of Superior Dairy is made up of senior partners Tim and his wife, Mandy, and Tim’s brother, David and his wife, Deb. The dairy was built to allow the next generation to continue in the dairy industry. Tim’s son, Tyler along with David's son, Ryan are transitioning into ownership and management of the dairy. With his family’s support over the years, Tim has been able to serve the community at different levels. For 30 years Tim served on the Dekalb County 4-H council and 4-H Dairy program. After stepping down from that, he sat on the local school board for 12 years. Tim has also spent the last 20 years participating on the American Dairy Board of Indiana and has been involved in the promotion of the dairy industry throughout Indiana. It is through ADAI that he can proudly represent dairy farmers all over the United States in being the 2022 INDY 500 Milkman and presenting the drink of milk to winning driver of the INDY 500. Tim cannot express how proud and humbled he is to be representing all of you in showcasing this most perfect food that we all work so hard to produce and deliver to our customers all over the world. It is because of the excellent job we do from the farm to processor to the store that lets the consumer know "Winners Drink Milk".
Charlie Mack – Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.
Charlie Mack is currently part of the Corporate Quality Assurance team with Prairie Farms Dairy Inc. He has been with Prairie Farms for 10 years. He has overseen the quality of the cultured dairy products throughout the company. Along with those responsibilities, he also provides support to Prairie Farms plants in the areas of quality, regulatory, and customer compliance. Starting in 2022, he has transitioned into a Product Development role, managing new product development, technical service on existing products, and nutritional facts panel review. He served as President of the Associated Illinois Milk, Food, and Environmental Sanitarians (AIMFES) organization in 2016-17 and is currently the Treasurer of the organization. He is also involved in the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments, International Association for Food Protection, and International Food Technologists. Charlie has a B.S. in Food Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Mary Fox – Crossroads Dairy
After graduating from The Ohio State University with a major in Food Business Management and a minor in Art, Mary Fox has made her way to the position of Senior Quality Leader at Crossroads Farms Dairy. Along the way Mary had worked as a Library Student Assistant at The Ohio State University and as the Quality Assurance Administration Assistant/Intern for Dole. After college, Mary was then hired by Crossroads Farms Dairy. She began at Tamarack as the Production CTP, then the Production Supervisor, and then as the Sanitation Supervisor before moving to the Crossroads Farms Dairy plant where she served as a QA Assistant Manager and the Senior QA Leader before accepting the present role of the Senior Quality Leader. Mary’s hobbies include painting, riding horses, and yoga. And an additional fact about Mary – her twin sister also works for Kroger.
Josiah Klinedinst – J2K Capraio
J2K CAPRAIO is a family cheesery located in Walkerton, IN, only 78 miles from Chicago by Josiah and Jody Klinedinst. Their artisan cheese-making operation is accomplished entirely by hand; they raise and milk the goats, handcraft, age, and sell the cheese. The family also purchases organic cow milk from a neighboring family farm to make corresponding cow milk cheese in all your favorite goat varieties! The Klinedinsts have owned goats for many years, but their dream of an on-farm cheesemaking adventure began in 2008. To become more self-sufficient and use and share the goodness of the goat’s natural byproduct, the couple took a leap of faith. It took three years to make the dream a reality and now they have been handcrafting cheese for ten seasons, never looking back. Over the years they have added Indiana’s only underground cheese cave where some cheese styles are developed and aged enhancing flavor, texture and terroir (a.k.a. nutritiousness and deliciousness)! Besides Josiah and Jody, the J2K family consists of their children Sofia, Joey, Frances, and Nicolas as well as a supporting staff Ryan (Affineur), Shawn (Cheesemaking Apprentice), Lauren (Monger), and Rusty (Cheese Dog) all of whom play a critical role in the success of this specialty operation!
Andy Gall – Dairy Farmers of America
Andy Gall is the Production Manager at the Dairy Farmers of America facility in Goshen, Indiana. Andy has been at the Goshen plant for 30 years and has been involved in Dairy processing for over 45 years. In 2018, Andy was honored to receive the Steve Atkisson Indiana Dairy Service Award for his lifetime contribution to the Dairy industry in Indiana. The Indiana Milk Quality Professionals organization is near and dear to Andy. He has been involved with the Indiana Milk Quality Conference and served on the board of directors for many years. Andy and his wife, Cheryl, enjoy spending time with their seven grandchildren and helping them with their 4-H projects each summer.
Dr. Bret Marsh – Board of Animal Health
Dr. Bret Marsh serves as the Indiana State Veterinarian. He is responsible for all statewide animal health programs, as well as providing inspection services for the meat, poultry and dairy products industries. He is also an advisor to the Indiana State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Dr. Marsh previously served as the Special Detail to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s Homeland Security Staff. In that role, he represented the views of the country’s state veterinarians on issues affecting the nation’s ability to preserve and protect its agricultural assets. Dr. Marsh was Treasurer to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for six years and served in the AVMA House of Delegates for nearly a decade. Dr. Marsh is a past President of the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association and Executive Committee member of the United States Animal Health Association. He has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from both the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine and the Purdue College of Agriculture. He received his BS degree in Animal Sciences, and his DVM from Purdue University.
Mike McCloskey – Fair Oaks Farms
Mike McCloskey is Co-Founder and CEO of Select Milk Producers, the sixth largest milk cooperative in the country. He is also Chairman of the Board for Fair Oaks Farms, the nation’s largest agritourism destination located in Northwest Indiana. Dr. McCloskey’s home dairy is Curtis Creek Dairy Farms, also in Northwest Indiana, which milks 15,000 cows living in free-stall barns, 800 cows in a robotic milker dairy and 1,000 cows on an organic dairy. The farm is recognized as being one of the leading sustainable dairies in the U.S. from many perspectives. Curtis Creek Dairy Farms harvest their cow manure and through digesters create more than enough electricity to power all of their farms as well as creating bio-based CNG to fuel 42 milk trucks and thus displacing 2 million gallons of diesel use annually. Curtis Creek Dairy Farms opened one of the largest and most state of the art robotic milking dairy farms in the world in February of 2019. Dr. McCloskey has been instrumental in creating proprietary value-added dairy products, patented milk processing & dispensing systems which have led to the creation of fairlife, a dairy-based health and wellness company, which is now solely owned by The Coca Cola Company. fairlife’s products range from fairlife milk, a higher protein, lower sugar, lactose free milk targeted to families to Core Power, a specially formulated athletic drink to Greek yogurt to food service products. Dr. McCloskey now serves as Chairman of the Board of the fairlife company. Dr. McCloskey was awarded his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1976 from the University of Mexico, after which he completed a two year post-doctoral residency in Dairy Production Medicine at the University of California, School of Veterinary Medicine, in Davis, California. He is still the only Resident to have received the Resident Of The Year Award for two consecutive years. Mike was also awarded an honorary Doctorate in Business by the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University for his leadership and business acumen. Dr. McCloskey is Chairman of the Sustainability Initiative of the Innovation Center of US Dairy and is the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine.
Tammy Sullivan – Berry Global
Tammy Sullivan has worked at Berry Global, Inc located in Evansville, Indiana for the past 21 years. She is currently the Printing Quality Manager and oversees ISO and SQF for the facility. She is a graduate of the Kelley Partnership for Leadership Development Program at Indiana University Kelley School of Business, is HACCP Certified and a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Wes Collins – Ecolab
Wes Collins has spent the last thirty years in the dairy industry, not counting his first eighteen years he worked on his family’s 185-year-old family farm. Wes’s first nine years were in different roles in fluid dairy processing with Melody farms before he began his career with Ecolab, where he is currently. Prior to entering the dairy industry, Wes attended Michigan State University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science. Besides working for Ecolab, Wes is also the current owner/operator of the oldest family owned farm in Eaton County, Michigan and enjoys collecting antique tractors. He has also been a high school football official for the past thirty years.
Kurt Fiene – GEA Farm Technologies
Kurt Fiene graduated from the University of Wisconsin Platteville in 1985 and returned to the family dairy farm for several years. In 1991 Kurt began working for Mid-West Dairymen’s company Coop in Rockford, Illinois to begin a career away from the farm. Since then, he has worked for Surge (Babson Bros.) milk equipment company and two independent surge dealerships. This was followed by going back to the corporate side with A&L Laboratories covering Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and part of Illinois. In 2014 he returned to GEA (who had purchased Surge) and continue to service Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky. Currently Kurt resides in Northwest Ohio with his wife, Jamie, who are empty nesters with five children and eleven grandchildren.
Bruce Kettler – Indiana State Department of Agriculture
Bruce Kettler is the Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, appointed by Governor Eric Holcomb on January 8, 2018. He also serves as the Director of Agribusiness Development for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and reports directly to Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, who serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. Prior to joining ISDA, Bruce worked as the Director of Public Relations for Beck's Hybrids and brings to the department more than 30 years of agricultural leadership experience and knowledge. Bruce grew up in western Ohio where he was a member of 4-H and FFA, worked on a dairy farm and served as the Ohio FFA President, as well as Vice President for National FFA. Bruce attended Ohio State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy with emphasis in Agricultural Business. He began his career in 1987 at Dow AgroSciences where he spent nearly 20 years working in a variety of roles. In 2004, he worked at ABG, Inc. as the Business Development Manager and then joined Beck’s Hybrids two years later as a sales consultant. During his 11-year tenure at Beck’s, Bruce also worked as an Area Team Leader, Field Sales Manager and Director of Public Relations. He is a 2012 graduate of the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program. He also serves on the Ohio State University President's Alumni Advisory Council and is a member of the Board of Trustees for Riverview Health in Hamilton County. Formerly, Bruce served as a board member for the Hamilton County Economic Development Corporation and as the industry representative for the Illinois Corn Growers Board. Bruce's wife, Tammy is Senior Director of Corporate Relations for the College of Agriculture, Purdue University. His son Cory is involved in production agriculture at Beck's Hybrids, and his daughter Christy is a senior at Purdue majoring in Agronomy. At ISDA, Bruce’s main priorities include: advocating on behalf of Indiana agriculture at the local, state and federal level; supporting existing agribusinesses while attracting new ones to the state; lifting up youth development organizations, like 4-H and FFA, as well as raising awareness about the importance of agricultural education; promoting the conservation of Indiana’s land and water resources; and working with farmers, agencies and industry partners to take Indiana agriculture to the next level.
Steve Obert – Indiana Dairy Producers
Steve Obert is a 1984 graduate of Purdue University. After graduation he spent three years working in Agricultural and Commercial Banking. In 1988, he returned to his family’s dairy and grain farm. He spent nearly thirty years helping grow and manage the farm to its present size of 1200 cows and 1300 acres. He has been married to his wife, Kelly, for 37 years. They have three sons and six grandchildren. Their sons have joined the farm’s team and are increasingly assuming more responsibility.
Neil Bendixen – Dairy Farmers of America
Neil Bendixen is currently the Manager of Hauler Relations for DFA, Mideast Area Council. Previously he was the Northwest Region Membership Supervisor for DFA, Mideast Area Council. Prior to working for DFA, Neil worked for Dairy Marketing Services and Dairylea as a Manager of contract hauling; Walker Stainless Equip Regional Sales Manager; Michigan Milk Producers Association Dispatch and Transportation; County Line Cheese Manager in Indiana; Independent Contract milk hauler in Northern Misc.; Industry Representative – NCIMS Executive Committee; Vice Chair of NCIMS Council 2 – NCIMS; Vice Chair of NCIMS Hauling Committee
Dairy Practices Council Board member and Task Force 5 Chair. Neil currently serves on the 3-A Steering Committee and in three work groups. The best part of Neil’s life is his wife Lynnea, who he will have been married to for 48 years in April. He also takes great joy and pride in his four children, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandson.
Patrick Hash – Board of Animal Health
Patrick Hash’s 2017 appointment to Director of the Dairy Division at the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) marks a return to the agency. Patrick previously served as a dairy inspector for Southeastern Indiana for two years until 2013. In the interim, Patrick worked as a dairy inspector and Pasteurization Specialist for three years for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Youth Development and Ag Education from Purdue University. He began his career as a high school Ag Science and Business teacher, as well as FFA chapter advisor. A native of Greensburg, Ind., Patrick is an active volunteer in his community, along with his wife Paige and four children.
Amy Pettijohn – Board of Animal Health
Amy Pettijohn is a Dairy Farm Specialist with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. Amy started with BOAH in 1996 as A Livestock Inspector. In 2003, she became a part of the Dairy Division covering the West/Southwest part of Indiana.
Amy is from Gosport in Owen County where she grew up on her family dairy farm breeding and milking Registered Ayrshires. After dispersing their milking herd, they continued raising and showing Ayrshires. In 1998, Amy and her dad transitioned from raising Ayrshires to Texas Longhorns and continued breeding and showing their cattle. Amy is involved in her local 4-H program helping young 4-Hers show dairy cattle, and on occasion judges a few 4-H and open dairy shows.
Allie Rieth – American Dairy Association of Indiana
Allie Rieth is the Farmer Relations Manager at American Dairy Association Indiana. Allie developed a passion for farming from her family, who live and farm in Elkhart County. She holds a degree in Animal Science from Purdue University and a Master’s in Strategic Communications, also from Purdue. She comes to the dairy association from Indiana Farm Bureau, where she served in roles including north-central Indiana Regional Manager and Young Farmer Coordinator. Prior to her tenure with Farm Bureau, Allie worked in program development for the Animal Agriculture Alliance in Washington DC. At ADAI, she focuses on maintaining and building public confidence in the dairy industry, farmers and products, and supporting farmers in crisis preparedness and dairy promotion.
“Blu” – The Indianapolis Colts
His office is a furry suit. But for Trey Mock, the man behind Blue, playing a mascot is a job he takes very seriously. Trey Mock doesn't just play Blue. Mock conceived Blue and then brought him to life. From the sketch he drew, to the suit he sewed, to the personality he put in it. Outside of playing a mascot, Trey Mock is just your average family guy. He and his wife Alison, a former Colts cheerleader, have a son, Gunnar and a daughter, Tegan. And in case you're wondering how one becomes a mascot, Mock first stepped into costume in college, where he played Aubie the Tiger at Auburn. It was a springboard into the NFL, where he played Freddie the Falcon and Billy Buffalo before interviewing with the Colts (yes, mascots interview too). If you can tell there's a dude in the suit, then it's not really doing the job. If you can make people forget that, and make the character stand out, and make the character seem living and breathing, then you've really succeeded."
John Blanton – Purdue University
On February 1st, John Blanton assumed the position as the of head of the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue University. He was previously at Mississippi State University, where he served as a professor and department head since 2013. Over the years, John has built strong relationships with industry and stakeholders throughout his career. He has held positions in several universities, private industry and nonprofit research institutions, and owned a company. John has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from New Mexico State University and earned his doctoral degree from Purdue University.
Fabian Bernal – DeLaval
Fabian Bernal M.S., PAS, is the Global Head of Sustainability, DeLaval Group. Fabian is a native of Bogota, Colombia and attended the University of La Salle. He graduated from WKU with a major in Agri-Business and Ag-Economics. He also graduated with a Master’s Degree in Animal Science (large animal nutrition) from WKU. His special interests are Dairy Sustainability, Animal welfare, Livestock Management, Dairy Nutrition, Physiology of Lactation, and Ag Business Management. Sustainability is a key part of DeLaval’s business strategy, and in this roll, Fabian helps ensure that DeLaval is at the forefront and delivering upon our vision by supporting Group Management as well as working in close cooperation with all parts of the DeLaval organization.
John Boerman – Benton Group Dairy
John Boerman is the General Manager of Benton Dairies, which operates three sites on the western side of Indiana. Benton Dairies, in partnership with local corn, soybean and alfalfa growers engage in regenerative agriculture practices to reduce carbon impacts. Together they implement tangible practices on the farm and in the field in order to sustainably produce feed and improve environmental impact. John lives with his wife Jackie and two sons, Lucas and Oliver, in Pine Village, Indiana.
Mercedes Talvitie – Foremost Farms USA
Mercedes Talvitie is the Farm Sustainability Analyst at Foremost Farms USA, a dairy cooperative owned by approximately 1,000 dairy farmers in the upper Midwest and a world-class supplier of cheese and dairy ingredients. As a FARM-Environmental Stewardship evaluator, she works with farms to help them understand their carbon footprint and identify opportunities for continuous improvement and communicate their sustainability story. The data collected on-farm provides information that is used in Foremost Farm’s journey to mapping greenhouse gas emissions at all levels of the cooperative. Additionally, Mercedes collaborates with partners to recruit for on-farm environmental stewardship initiatives that work to improve dairy profitability through soil health strategies and sustainability solutions. Although Mercedes wasn’t lucky enough to grow up on a dairy farm, she began farming after college and fell in love with the rewarding work and science behind crop health. She received her bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Virginia and her Master’s in Environmental Conservation from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.
Josh Luth – Dairy Management Inc.
Josh Luth is Director of Food Chain Outreach for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, part of Dairy Management Inc. Luth serves as a relationship manager between top foodservice, retail, and CPG (Consumer Packaging Goods) brands in this role. From a farmer-teacher family to top dairy companies, he has grown his skills full-cycle in the food industry, quality assurance and sustainability initiatives. In 2016 he was the milk procurement and sustainability manager at Foremost Farms serving as the liaison between dairy farm member-owners to the corporate office on milk trends, animal welfare, policy, and environmental opportunities. Luth has a bachelor’s degree from the College of Idaho and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater.
Dr. Stephanie Clark – Iowa State University
Stephanie Clark grew up on a small farm in Massachusetts, where she first started making cheese from milk of her dairy goats. She received her B.S. in Animal Science from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) in 1990, and continued on for a Master’s of Science in Food Science in 1993. Stephanie earned her Ph.D. in Food Science from Cornell University in 1997, then joined the faculty at Washington State University (WSU) in 1998. She was promoted to associate professor, with tenure, in 2004. Dr. Clark joined the faculty of Iowa State University (ISU) in August 2009. She serves as the Associate Director of the Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center, where she oversees the ISU-associated dairy research component of the three-institution center. Her research, which centers broadly around dairy products chemistry, microbiology, processing and sensory evaluation, has been presented in over 80 publications and over 80 posters and presentations. Dr. Clark has also shared her dairy foods expertise in Armenia, China, India, and Mexico. Stephanie teaches courses in dairy products, sensory evaluation of foods, and scientific communication. She has also been instrumental in advancing student learning outcomes assessment at the university. Dr. Clark has been the research advisor of more than 35 undergraduate, 20 M.S., and 6 Ph.D. students and has advised successful food product development and dairy products evaluation teams at WSU and at ISU. She is an active member of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), where she has served in many leadership roles. Dr. Clark served two terms as Section Editor for the Journal of Dairy Science and as an Associate editor for Food Bioscience. She has been the technical advisor of the American Cheese Society Judging & Competition since 2011 and chaired the committee from 2016-2018. In the spring of 2016, Dr. Clark was promoted to professor, and was awarded the Virginia M. Gladney endowed professorship, which she used, in part, to establish the ISU Creamery, which opened in 2020. She and one full-time business administrator train and supervise student employees in sanitation, milk handling, ice cream production, cheese making and retail shop operations in preparation for meaningful careers upon graduation.
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