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Local dairies earn national distinction

The Koke family — members of the Lingleville community and owners of Dublin’s Blue Bonnet and Blue Jay Dairy — has been named among the 2019 Members of Distinction by Dairy Farmers of America.

Each year, one notable member farm from each of DFA’s seven regional Areas is selected to receive this honor. Blue Bonnet and Blue Jay Dairy represent the Cooperative’s Southwest Area. (DFA’s selection pool consists of nearly 14,000 farmer-owners across the United States.)

Johan and Sonya Koke, along with their six children, manage an operation of roughly 1,700 milking cows on 800 acres.

“This is what I’ve wanted to do my whole life — have a dairy farm and have a great family,” Johan said.

Originally from Holland, Johan moved to the United States in 1991 before landing in Texas, where his family are now leaders in their community and beyond.

“A lot of families today are removed from the farm, so we’re trying to bring it back into the community and help make people realize that this is how you get your food,” said Sonya, who also serves on the Lingleville School Board.

Johan and Sonya ensure that their children understand the farming industry and how it is integral to the nation’s vitality.

“We are helping feed the world by producing milk and then shipping it off, where it goes to tables and people drink it. That’s a pretty cool idea,” says Natalie, one of the Koke’s daughters.

The Koke family credits their success to keeping the cattle healthy and comfortable as well as simply being able to work together.

“The Members of Distinction program recognizes dairy farmers who excel on their operations, in their communities and in the industry,” the DFA said in a press release. “Honorees inspire others through their actions, leadership and involvement. They represent the best of the dairy industry.”

— Citizen staff report

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