Larry and Gloria Crandall’s family has hosted thousands of toddlers and school-age children at their fifth-generation family dairy farm near Battle Creek, Michigan, over the years. One thing that teachers and day care providers know is that the family practices an open door policy when it comes to answering questions about farming and encouraging visits to the farm to learn about farming firsthand. The Crandalls are the recipients of the 2011 Michigan State University (MSU) Dairy Farmer of the Year Award. They were selected by MSU Department of Animal Science faculty members and MSU Extension educators on the basis of commitment and contributions to the dairy industry and local communities.

Larry Crandall and his wife, Gloria, farm in partnership with their two sons, Brad (wife Monica) and Mark (wife Sara), on the farm established by Larry’s parents in 1883. The family grows corn, alfalfa, soybeans and wheat on its 1,002 acres of cropland, and the dairy herd is made up of 278 milking Holsteins and 247 heifers. The dairy herd averages 30,678 pounds of milk per cow per year.

“Receiving this award is special in that it represents the collective efforts of a multi-generational family making a difference in the community as well as achieving success as a dairy farm,” Larry Crandall said.

Dr. Janice Swanson, interim chairperson of the MSU Department of Animal Science and director of animal welfare, presented this year’s MSU Dairy Farmer of the Year Award during Michigan Dairy Industry Recognition Night ceremonies held at the Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference (GLRDC) Feb. 4 in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Larry and Gloria Crandall and daughter Lori; son Brad, and his wife, Monica; and son Mark, and his wife, Sara; were present to accept the award. PD


—From The Daily Reporter