MSU honors Westvale-View Dairy as 2024 Dairy Farm of the Year
The MSU Department of Animal Science recognizes Doug Westendorp's commitment to quality, efficiency and innovation within the dairy industry.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Animal Science recently named Doug Westendorp of Westvale-View Dairy in Nashville as the recipient of the 2024 Dairy Farm of the Year.
Since 1958, this recognition has been awarded to dairy farmers who exhibit outstanding management of their dairy operation and leadership within the Michigan dairy industry and their surrounding communities. The Dairy Farm of the Year Award is the highest honor given by the Department of Animal Science to individuals within the dairy industry.
“Doug Westendorp’s dedication to quality and efficiency and his innovative approach have made Westvale-View Dairy and MOO-ville Creamery the success they are today,” said Cathy Ernst, chair of the Animal Science department. “We especially appreciate Doug’s support of our undergraduate and 4-H dairy programs, and his willingness to host students at their farm. We are excited to recognize Doug Westendorp of Westvale-View Dairy as the 2024 Dairy Farm of the Year.”
Established in 1992, Westvale-View Dairy is a family-run operation based in Nashville, Mich. The operation, spanning 1000 acres and overseen by Doug and Louisa Westendorp, began with a foundation of only 50 milk cows. Westvale-View has grown significantly over the years and now milks approximately 240 Holsteins, with a herd average production of over 100 lbs. of milk per cow per day. They also manage an additional 250 youngstock and implant 150 embryos yearly.
In 2005, the Westendorps expanded their business by opening MOO-ville Creamery, located adjacent to Westvale-View and offering homemade ice cream and dairy products, a gift shop and farm tours. The creamery business has now expanded to include four retail locations, with additional products located in over 140 retail stores and 50 ice cream shops. The dairy’s operations evolved again in 2012 with a new milk barn and the incorporation of four Lely milking robots, increasing automation and allowing for more flexibility to expand the business. In 2020, Westvale-View upgraded to Lely Astronaut A5 robots, capitalizing on the latest robotic milking technology and showcasing the dairy’s passion for innovation.
According to his colleagues, MOO-ville was Doug’s ultimate dream, and the combined success of the dairy and creamery is a testament to his hard work and passion for furthering the dairy industry. Doug helms both Westvale-View and MOO-ville Creamery and is known for continually improving processes and increasing efficiency, demonstrating what can be accomplished through dedication and a forward-thinking mindset.
Doug works closely with Louisa and his children, many of whom play active roles in the growth and success of the family business. Their oldest son Carlyle works in day-to-day management of the crops and together with Eric in herd management. Troy and Levi split their time between the farm and the creamery, with Troy managing the ice cream production and calves and Levi focusing on other milk products. Tina manages employees and product sales for several of MOO-ville’s retail locations. Brittany’s contributions to the family and community are presently in her role as an adoptive and foster parent. She still enjoys selecting and organizing the show string with Levi at the MSU dairy shows.
Doug gives back to the dairy community by sharing his knowledge and contributing his time, including his service as a member of the Advisory Committee for Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA). His work has earned numerous accolades, such as Westvale-View’s first place win in the BMR Corn Silage Division in 2020’s World Forage Analysis Superbowl. Doug also received the Michigan Holstein Association’s (MHA) Master Breeder Award in 2018, the highest honor given to Holstein breeders in the state. In 2009, Westvale-View received a gold award in the National Dairy Quality Awards (NDQA), a program highlighting dairy producers who prioritize producing milk of the highest quality. Over 200 operations were nominated for the NDQA in 2009. Doug’s early career achievements were also honored in 1996 when he received the Outstanding Young Famer award from MMPA.
“As an educator, I value Doug’s support of educational programs, from opening the farm’s doors to program participants to serving as a guide to other farmers who want to learn more about their model,” said Martin J. Mangual, an Extension Dairy Educator. “The disposition to educate is one of the many attributes that make this farm deserving of this award.”