California Dairy Farm Families in 2017 Rose Parade®

Jamie JohansenAg Group, Dairy, dairy farming

Real California Milk announced the 11 farmers who will ride alongside a life-size animated Holstein cow and floral depictions of products representing the state’s more than 1,300 dairy families on its “Legacy of Generations” float in the 128th Rose Parade® presented by Honda on Monday, January 2, 2017.

“The success of California dairy is a legacy of generations of farm families working hard every day in partnership with the animals and the land in their care to produce one of the most nutritious foods available,” said John Talbot, CEO of the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB). “We’re thrilled to have five families joining us to represent this legacy that continues today.”

Each of the float riders are legacy dairy farmers whose families have been in the business for 50 years or more and who look forward to continuing the tradition of dairy farming into the future. Riders, representing farms in northern and southern California, include:

Joe and Mario Simoes, Tipton, California
Joey and Joseph Airoso, Pixley, California
Essie and Jason Bootsma, and Emmalyn Vermeer, Lakeview, California
Lucas and Lisa Deniz, Petaluma, California
Billy and Kaelyn Offinga, Nuevo, California

California dairy farms can be traced back to the early 1800’s, with farms spanning the state from San Diego to the Oregon border as milk, butter and cheese became a valuable commodity during the Gold Rush years. Today, California is the number one milk producing state in the U.S. and produces more butter, ice cream and nonfat dry milk than any other state. California is also the second largest producer of cheese and yogurt. The rise of California’s dairy industry from humble beginnings to national and international prominence is the result of generations of dedicated family dairy farmers.