Kevin Lang of Howick, South Africa was one of several dairy industry professionals honored for their outstanding contributions to the dairy industry through the 2015 World Dairy Expo Recognition Awards, specifically the 2015 World Dairy Expo International Person of the Year.
Lang is the owner of Fairfield Dairy, a private label milk processing business that processes 310,600 pounds of milk per day into 15 different products, including yogurts, smoothies, and soft cheeses.
He is also a dairy farmer, milking herds of both Holsteins and Ayrshires, and produces 50% of the milk that is processed in the factory. While most of his cattle are Holsteins, Lang has been recognized as the driving force behind the explosive expansion of the Ayrshire breed that South Africa is currently seeing.
Lang first saw a wonderful business opportunity in dairy farming in 1990, after the South African supermarket chain Woolworths launched an exclusive line of Ayershire milk products, branding them separately from other milk products, and demand quickly began to skyrocket.
“They sort of brand it’s uniqueness,” he said in an interview during the expo, “It’s a unique breed, its a heritage breed, and a smaller breed. We market Ayrshires as something unique and different. The milk tastes slightly different: slightly smoother tasting, and slightly sweeter.”
He has made the trip across the globe to the World Dairy Expo five times in the past 15 years, to observe the trends in American bulls and show cows, and to hear about new and up and coming technology in the industry.
“The collaboration is important, we need to be changing ideas all the time,” he said, “Dairy is a very technical subject and I think it’s great that we share ideas and look at what’s happening around the world.”
Listen to my interview with Kevin here:
Interview with Kevin Lang, Fairfield Dairy
View and download photos from the event here: 2015 World Dairy Expo Photo Album