Crave Named Advocate Of The Year

Dairy farmers work every day to ensure their cows receive the highest quality care. On any given day, they might find themselves holding any number of responsibilities. Fixing a broken manure pump, chopping corn silage, treating a sick cow; you name it, they’ve done it.

Yet, there are those select few who not only excel at running their farms but actively engage their local communities. They lead multiple organizations and work hard to promote dairy daily. These champions showcase dairy and provide customers with the milk and dairy products they love.

The Dairy Business Association honored Tom Crave of Crave Brothers Farm with the Advocate of the Year award for his role in shaping Wisconsin’s dairy community. The award was presented during DBA’s Dairy Strong conference at the KI Convention Center.

The Crave family farm in Waterloo is home to 2,100 milking cows, 1,400 heifers, and more than 2,500 acres of cropland.

“I’m very honored. This means quite a bit to me considering that it comes from my peers and a very worthwhile organization,” says Crave. “I appreciate everything DBA does for the dairy industry and I am proud to be part of it and to be part of the voice of dairy farmers in Wisconsin.”

Crave firmly believes in implementing sustainability practices and technologies on the farm, including reducing tillage and crop rotations. In 2006, the Craves added a manure digester to reduce methane emissions and power more than 300 area homes.

The brothers launched a farmstead cheese operation in 2001, which produces several award-winning cheese varieties.

Crave was also integral in building a coalition known today as the Clean Water Initiative. The initiative is a partnership between DBA, Clean Wisconsin, The Nature Conservancy, and the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association. Crave opened up his farm to these groups to showcase the conservation efforts happening on Wisconsin dairy farms.

“Tom’s leadership for Wisconsin dairy and our farmers cannot be overstated,” Tim Trotter, DBA’s chief executive officer, said. “Tom has testified before countless committees, hearings and other meetings with lawmakers and thought leaders. I cannot think of another figure more deserving of this award than him.”