Madison, WI — Nine family businesses were honored in the 12th annual Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Awards. Three grand awards were presented along with six special awards.
Freedom-based Milk Source LLC was among the honorees, receiving the award for “Innovation & Sustainability.”
“We were very impressed with the vision, the efforts and resources committed to sustainability, and the care (that Milk Source) shows for the land,” said the independent panel of judges.
They noted that Milk Source is a “family of families.” Each of the farm’s partners, Jim Ostrom, John Vosters and Todd Willer, come from multi-generational farm families; and, between them, they have 11 children who are being prepared to take the reins, should they choose that path.
In presenting the award, the judges explained: “The goal of agriculture is to feed the world. The business philosophy of Milk Source is to accomplish this with sustainable solutions. Their motto is ‘Sustainability Starts Here.’ They seek to find safe, reliable and expandable technologies that tie economic success with environmental stewardship. The company has invested millions in state-of-the-art nutrient pipelines, sand recycling nutrient separation facilities, climate controlled barns, Livestock Water Recycling systems and bio-digesters to generate electricity from animal waste.”
Ostrom spoke on behalf of the farm, noting, “‘Family farm’ are not simply words to toss around. Maybe the ways we farm are different than our parents, but the things that really matter — a love of the land, a respect for the animals, a mission to provide food for a growing world, and a desire to pass on a legacy to our children — those values have not … and will not .. change.
“You don’t get to stand on this platform without a lot of hard work from a lot of good people. Our extended family is our work force: A lot of committed professionals who take pride in being part of the Milk Source team. They’re second to none.”
Vosters noted that the honor coincides with the 50th Anniversary of Tidy View Dairy, the farm his parents established that would ultimately become the seed from which Milk Source grew. “We are proud to recognize several of our parents here this evening,” he said. “A generation that helped instill in us the passion and pride we take in being part of ‘America’s Dairyland.'”
To learn more about the Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Awards and see the complete list of honorees, please click here.
Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Awards 2015