The Dairy Center Connection.

Hi, Mariah!

With today being National Ag Day it couldn’t be more perfect timing to announce the Northeast Iowa Community-Based Dairy Foundation’s transition into the Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation. The name change was voted on by our members at our 2020 Annual Meeting earlier this month. The transition is timely as we continue to grow and expand our partnerships with our friends in beef, agronomy, conservation and other agriculture industries. Stay tuned as we work to rebrand, restructure and reorganize to serve the  agriculture community in Northeast Iowa and beyond.  

Mariah Busta
Coordinator, Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation

What's Happening at Iowa's Dairy Center

2020 Annual Meeting Re-Cap

The Northeast Iowa Community-Based Dairy Foundation celebrated 20 years at the 2020 Annual Meeting. Mike Hutjens, Ph.D., professor at University of Illinois, was the keynote speaker of the event. Hutjens spoke about the changing dairy industry giving a market outlook, keys to profitability and building milk protein. The afternoon’s annual meeting included updating the organization’s by-laws, including a name change to the Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation, in addition to restructuring the Board of Directors. Over 50 farmers and industry persons attended the meeting and we thank our local businesses for their support. View 2020 Annual Report.

Gary Lien Named General Farm Manager, Herdsperson Position Open

Iowa’s Dairy Center is proud to announce that Gary Lien has accepted the position of the General Farm Manager. Gary has been an employee at the Dairy Center for nearly three years and transitioned to into the manager role earlier this year. Gary has over 35 years of owning and managing Velkommen-Valley Farms with his wife, Patty, and four children. He is a graduate from Iowa State University earning his degree in Dairy Science. We welcome Gary into this new role.

Looking to join the team at Iowa’s Dairy Center? We have an opening for a herdsperson. This person will be responsible for the care and management of the Foundation’s dairy and beef herds. View the complete job description and apply online here.

Viewing Areas Closed, Tour Suspended Temporarily

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa's Dairy Center will temporarily close parlor and robotic milking viewing areas to the public effective immediately. In addition, all tours have been suspended until further notice and Foundation-related activities such as the Central Plains Dairy Expo bus trip have been cancelled. Iowa's Dairy Center staff will keep regular office hours and will be available via email and telephone, 844.642.2338, ext. 8107

Central Plains Dairy Expo Bus Trip Cancelled, Save the Date for Next Year’s Trip

While the 2020 Central Plains Dairy Expo has been cancelled due to COVID-19, it’s not too early to be thinking about next year. We will plan to host the two-day, one-night bus trip to the Expo again in 2021. Be sure to follow along with our e-newsletters, website and social media for dates and details for next year’s trip.


Dairy Science Student Shares Program Update at Annual Meeting

Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) Dairy Science Technology student Derek Littrel of Deer Park, Wash., shared his experience at NICC at the Dairy Foundation’s 2020 Annual Meeting. He walked the audience through a typical year in the Dairy Science program, highlighting trips, farm visits, classroom activities, etc. that students in the program experience. Derek will graduate this spring and plans to return to his family’s dairy farm in Washington.

NICC Announces Changes in Operations Due to COVID-19 Virus

NICC is committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of our students, employees, and visitors. In the rapidly changing environment and evolving restrictions related to COVID-19, NICC is implementing the next phase of our pandemic plan.

  • College campuses and centers will be closed to the general public starting Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 10.
  • All face-to-face classes will be conducted via an online format beginning March 23.
  • Previously scheduled online classes will continue as planned.
  • Related classroom activities (e.g., lab, clinical, field, internship, etc.) remain cancelled.
  • College operations will continue with staff working remotely beginning March 23.
  • All events scheduled to be held at NICC are cancelled through April 10.
  • Community- and business-related classes, when possible, will be offered via an online format.

Please continue to monitor our website,, for up-to-date information.

NICC Dairy Science Club Will Not Host a Sale This Year

Due to circumstances in the current dairy climate, the NICC Dairy Science Club has decided not to host their annual dairy sale. The decision was not taken lightly and the club is looking into other fundraising options to provide support for annual club activities.

Dairy Profile: Becca Hermann

Even as a busy Dairy Science Technology student at Northeast Iowa Community College, Becca Hermann still makes time to teach others about wool making, knitting and her love of fiber arts. The student shared her knowledge in a presentation on fiber arts for Delaware County 4-H and also incorporated the presentation into a Public Speaking class at the College. Read more.

Industry News

Dairy situation outlook webinar scheduled on March 25. Register.

The National Milk Producers Federation has created a one-stop site of resources that are designed to help farmers navigate the coronavirus crisis. Read more.

Bring Undeniably Dairy to your local community with funding from Midwest Dairy available for organized dairy groups and dairy farmers. Read more.

Iowa State Dairy Association will be awarding 14 college scholarships of $500 each for the 2020 fall semester. Apply.

Calendar of Events

Visit our website to see all upcoming events and continuing education courses.

Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation Board Meeting
April 24 | 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. | Iowa's Dairy Center

Breakfast on the Farm
June 27 | 8:30 a.m.-Noon | Iowa's Dairy Center


Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation 
1527 Hwy. 150 S., Calmar, Iowa
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