RESTON, Va. – October 26, 2021 – Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association (MDVA) recognized eight members for 25 years of membership to the cooperative during annual District Meetings held in October.
“We congratulate our 25-year members on their hard work and perseverance in dairy farming,” said MDVA Vice President of Sustainability and External Relations Lindsay Reames. “Our member-owners are our foundation. We are pleased to recognize the farms who have grown with us over the last quarter-century.”
Ray Halteman of Williamsport, Md.
Ray and Charlotte Halteman have been with MDVA since they started their dairy in Williamsport, Maryland 25 years ago. Ray and his brother split the herd to start their own operations, leaving the Haltemans to start their dairy business with 47 cows. They’ve now grown to 130 cows. Ray and Charlotte have two children and are hopeful for the next generation to join the farm.
Shenandoah Jerseys of Boonsboro, Md.
Shenandoah Jerseys is a registered Jersey herd owned by Janet Stiles Fulton and managed by her daughter and son in law, Jessica and J.R. Hess. Together, J.R. and Jessica have sons Cole and Luke. They own and rent approximately 100 acres of pasture, 120 acres of alfalfa/grass hay, with 640 acres for wheat, corn, soybeans, and triticale. The family has recently converted to a fully robotic operation, including a DeLaval milking system, a robotic feed pusher, activity monitoring system, and automatic calf feeders.
DJ Renn Farm of McClure, Pa.
Josh and Charity Renninger run DJ Renn Farm along with Josh’s father, Darvin. Josh and Charity also have children Darren, Danika, and Maddy who were raised on the farm. Josh has always enjoyed working around cattle and has milked cows since high school.
The Renningers purchased their current farm in 2003 and started milking in 2004. Since purchasing their farm, they have added a freestall barn, silos and new sheds on the property. They maintain a herd of about 40 cows. The Renningers farm 200 acres of corn and alfalfa. In 2017, they added a turkey barn and raise about 36,000 turkeys per year.
Keiter’s Dairy of Newville, Pa.
Keiter’s Dairy is owned and operated by Robert Keiter and his son Mike. Mike lives on the farm with his wife, Jackie, and two children, Maddie and Riley. The family milks 55 cows with about 110 total in the herd. The Keiters use no-till and minimal tillage on the majority of their 140 acres of corn, alfalfa, and soybeans. For much of its 25 years, the farm relied on the late Doris Keiter to also care for the herd. She served as the heart of the farm. The family misses her every day as she contributed greatly to its success today.
Also recognized for 25 years of membership were:
- Aaron M. Esh of Delta, PA
- Nathan Weaver of Newville, PA
- Lester Zimmerman of New Enterprise, PA
- Wesley L. Zimmerman of Shippensburg, PA
Photo: Maryland & Virginia CEO Jay Bryant (left) presents Mike and Jackie Keiter of Keiter’s Dairy in Newville, Pa. with their 25-year recognition at last week’s District 1 meeting in Chambersburg, Pa.
About Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative is a community of dairy farm families passionate about cultivating dairy goodness and bottling fresh Maola brand milk and dairy products. Founded in 1920, the cooperative’s farmers produce three billion pounds of milk a year for consumers and manufacturers worldwide. Our dairy farm families take pride in creating dairy products people crave, operating with passion and integrity, responsibly caring for our resources and providing a rewarding livelihood for our farmers and employees. For more information about Maryland & Virginia, visit: www.mdvamilk.com.
Director of Communications & Member Relations