The AMPI member family of Blake and Christine Otte of Square Deal Dairy at Randolph, Minn., was named Minnesota Milk’s 2016 Producer of the Year. They were nominated by AMPI on the basis of their involvement in the dairy community, their commitment to the future, and their activity and interest in dairy and the community. As 4th generation dairy producers, Blake and Christine manage the farm with their son, Tyler, and his wife, Kelsey. Their son, Bret, and his fiancé, Kayla, assist while also holding off-farm jobs. The youngest son, Eric, is attending college. Twelve employees are involved with the family in running the 500-cow dairy and 1,500 acres of owned and rented land. The Ottes also operate a custom bale wrapping and chopping business.
For more than 60 years, members of AMPI member John Temme’s family have been milking cows on their dairy farm near Wayne, Neb. When John made the decision to return to the farm after college, his parents and grandparents were excited to have the third generation involved in the family business, but they also knew it would require careful planning, communications and investment.