State recognition for efforts in dairy industry reaches second generation

Warren and Jean Winter, rural Hillsboro, are the second generation of their family to receive the Kansas Distinguished Dairy Family Award.

The Winters received the 2000 award during a ceremony at the state dairy meeting in February.

?It?s an honor,? Warren said.

The award recognizes dairy farmers throughout the state.

?They expect you to be active in the dairy business,? Warren said.

Warren has served as president for the Kansas Dairy Association for four years, beginning as one of the original directors for the association. He also is a past president and on the board of the Kansas Holstein Association.

Jean works with the Kansas Junior Holstein Association and has been to Washington twice with KDA, which works with the political side of the dairy business. They both have worked with 4-H clubs which involved their children.

?The unique thing about it is we are the second generation to be nominated off this farm,? Warren said.

In 1983, Jean?s parents, Chester and Bernice Unruh received the award. Warren and Jean joined her parents in the dairy operation called Rock Home Holsteins, located northwest of Hillsboro on Kansas Highway 15.

?I wanted to get back into agriculture,? Warren said.

After Chester retired, Warren and Jean moved onto the farm. They now run the operation with their son, Kevin, who is a partner.

Both Warren and Jean had grown up on farms but had since moved into town, where they taught for a couple of years.

Over the years, they have added a few buildings and increased the size of the operation.

Warren said he enjoys working outside and the independence of working for himself. He also enjoys working with the cows.

?They?re the hobby as well as the business,? Jean said.

The heard consists of 115 cows. A percentage of the herd is registered Holsteins, which are used to supply bulls to customers throughout the country.

The Winters have a diversified farm, including a 3,000-acre grain and hay operation and 150 Simmental cows, but the dairy operation is their priority.

The Winter?s award is co-sponsored by K-State Research & Extension and Kansas Farmer magazine.

Rock Home Holsteins is one of around 785 dairies left in Kansas, according to Warren.

In addition to their son, Kervin, Jean and Warren have two daughters, Krista, a freshman at Hesston College, and Dalina, who lives in Lancaster, Pa., where she teaches at New Danville Mennonite School.

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