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Producer Spotlight

Lee Kinnard

Kinnard Farms
January 28th, 2018
Casco, Wisconsin
In 1948 Alvin and Milly Kinnard started their family dairy farm with 14 cows and 80 acres with money borrowed from their parents. Today Kinnard Farms is an 8,000-cow dairy using a rotary parlor and a double-36 parallel parlor to milk the herd three times a day. With a focus on environmental stewardship and taking good care of family, employees and neighbors, the farm is respected and well-known far beyond the limits of its Casco, Wis. address.

Today the farm employs about 80 people, with Lee Kinnard as CEO and owner of Kinnard Farms. Lee and his brother Rod, Rod’s wife Maureen, and the Kinnard’s sister Jackie and her husband David Stewart carry on the progressive approach and commitment to hard work Alvin and Milly shared.
Lee says, “This land is special, because our farm is built on land that has been farmed by five generations of our family.  Dad and Mom taught us that caring for the land is the foundation of everything we do.”

The Kinnards are a part of Peninsula Pride Farms, an environmental stewardship coalition formed by dairy farmers in northeastern Wisconsin. They’re also proud members of the Door-Kewaunee County Demonstration Farms Network, a network of farms committed to best-conservation practices to protect the Great Lakes.

The team at Kinnard Farms knows one of the keys to success is lifelong learning. In addition to relying heavily on advice from the farm veterinarian, nutritionist, crop consultants and others, the Kinnards value conversations with other successful dairy producers and the learning opportunities available through PDPW.

“We can learn so much from each other,” Lee says, “and networking is so important.”

Inspired by his parents’ insistence that their children continue their education beyond high school graduation, he understands that the ongoing need to learn new things also applies to his management team and employees. They enjoy attending hands-on training sessions offered by PDPW as well as out-of-state programs.

“I took two of our top managers on PDPW’s Texas farm tour and they really enjoyed the opportunity to talk with dairymen outside Wisconsin about their vision for the dairy industry.  It’s pretty hard not to walk away excited about dairy after a tour like that,” Lee remarks.

“When I can, I enjoy taking part in the tours and conferences,” Lee added, “and as we continue to develop our management team I plan to send our managers to more events.”