Four dairymen were recently elected to the NorthStar Board of Directors. Brad Crandall of Battle Creek, MI; Jeff Horning of Manchester, MI; Lee Jensen of Elk Mound, WI; and Dan Mielke of Colby, WI will serve on the NorthStar Board of Directors for a three-year term. In addition, two industry representatives, including Dana Sue Kirk of St. Johns, MI and Steve Maier of Jim Falls, WI were appointed as at-large directors by the NorthStar Board of Directors. NorthSar’s board of directors is comprised of 14 members including 12 member-owners each representing a geographic region within NorthStar’s service area, as well as two at-large directors.
Re-elected for his third term, Crandall also serves on the Cooperative’s Finance and Review Committee, 401(k) Committee, Investment Committee, Long Range Planning Committee and on the Advisory Committee for Antel BioSystems. Actively involved in the agriculture community, Crandall is a member of the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) Resolutions Committee, President of the Battle Creek/Homer MMPA local and Secretary for MMPA’s District 4. Additionally, he is a member of the Calhoun County Farm Bureau Board. Along with his family, Crandall operates Crandall Dairy Farms, LLC, a 320-cow Holstein herd in Calhoun county
Horning has been a member of the NorthStar Board of Directors since 1999, and currently serves as Treasurer to the Cooperative. Additionally, he serves as Chairman of the Cooperative’s Finance and Review Committee, member of the Compensation Committee and represents NorthStar on a national level with National DHIA. An active member of his community, Horning has held leadership positions with the Michigan Milk Producers Association at both the local and state level, and has served on various Farm Bureau boards. Still further, Horning is an elected trustee in Freedom Township, serving on the Planning Committee. Along with his family, Horning operates Horning Farms, a 425-cow Holstein herd in Washtenaw county.
In addition to serving on the NorthStar Board of Directors for the past three years, Jensen is a member of the NorthStar Political Action Committee. Largely involved in his community, Jensen also serves on numerous local boards and committees including; Chippewa County DHIA Board, Wisconsin Holstein Association Breed Improvement Committee, CVCT Ag Advisory Committee and Big Elk Creek Church Board Secretary. Jensen is the owner of Five Star Dairy, LLC, a 1,100-cow Holstein herd in Dunn county.
Mielke has been a member of the NorthStar Board of Directors since 1995, and currently serves as Secretary to the Cooperative and board member of Select Sires. Previously, Mielke served as Chairman of the NorthStar Finance and Review Committee, member of the NorthStar Resolutions and Advisory Committee and served on the Budget and Finance Committee at Select Sires. Active in the community, Mielke has served as a board member of the Colby School District, local town board chairman, and President of the Marathon County Holstein Association. Mielke operates Danichelle Holsteins, a 30-cow registered herd in Marathon county.
Kirk was appointed by the NorthStar Board of Directors as an at-large director for her fourth term. In addition, Kirk serves on NorthStar’s Political Action Committee and previously served on the NorthStar Finance and Review Committee. Recently retired from GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Kirk has various experiences with commercial dairies in eastern and central Michigan. In her role at GreenStone, Kirk managed million dollar accounts and assisted fellow financial service offices with dairy account expansion.
Newly appointed to the Board of Directors, Maier serves as an at-large director. He also serves on numerous agricultural boards including Chippewa County Milk Promoters, Chippewa County Holstein Breeders Association, Chippewa County Farm Technology Days and the Community Foundation of Chippewa County. Maier currently works with Vita Plus Corporation as a Financial Consultant where he is responsible for analyzing farm financial information, conducting farm expansion studies and assisting dairy producers with transitional and generational transfers of dairy ownership.
Additional NorthStar Board of Directors members include Jason Benthem of McBain, MI; Paul Trierweiler of Portland, MI; Lyle Ott of Brillion, WI; Dick Piechowski of Waupaca, WI; Don Hoffelt of Bruce, WI; Andy Wolf of Oconto Falls, WI; Mark Ziel of Port Austin, MI; and Ken Carnahan of Butler, IN.