EDWARDSVILLE - Prairie Farms Dairy is celebrating its 85th anniversary, and to commemorate the company's long-term commitment to the State of Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker issued a proclamation naming 2023 as the 85th Anniversary of Prairie Farms Dairy.

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Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello II presented the proclamation to Prairie Farms during a ceremony at the Illinois State Fair on August 19. Matt McClelland, Prairie Farms' Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice President, and Prairie Farms' Board President, Frank Doll, accepted the proclamation from Director Costello.

"As we celebrate our 85th anniversary, it was an honor to accept the proclamation on behalf of our hard- working farm families. I am grateful to the Governor's Office for recognizing our cooperative's accomplishments," said Matt McClelland, Prairie Farms' Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice President. "Our dairy farmers' commitment to providing high-quality milk has kept our brand strong since 1938. Our cooperative was founded by Illinois dairy farmers, and 85 years later, we still carry out their mission to simply ‘do right’ for our farmers, employees, and the millions of American families we serve every day.”

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“Accepting the proclamation was a proud moment for me and our cooperative. As a third-generation Illinois dairy farmer, I understand the challenges of operating a family dairy farm. It was particularly heartening to hear Director Costello urge all Illinois residents to support dairy farmers by choosing Prairie Farms’ dairy products,” said Frank Doll, Prairie Farms’ Board President. “Few dairy cooperatives can claim that they have helped feed American families for 85 years, and I’m glad that the proclamation acknowledges the hard work of our dairy farmers.”

The 2023 Illinois State Fair was a remarkable success in many ways. In the Dairy Building, the treasured Butter Cow was on display. The theme, "Harvest the Fun," brought to life Lorilee Schultz, a Prairie Farms’ member from Mil-R-Mor Dairy in Orangeville, Illinois. Lorilee’s daughter Lucy also plays a role around the farm, which is why a second sculpture of Lucy with a calf was featured. Prairie Farms donated butter for both sculptures.

Also, in the Dairy Building, Prairie Farms’ winning tradition continued. From milk to cheese to ice cream, dozens of Prairie Farms’ products were adorned with Blue Ribbons, including the Dairy Product Grand Champion Award for Prairie Farms’ 1% Chocolate Milk produced in Rockford.

Prairie Farms was no stranger in the Obernagel Livestock Center. Shortly after the proclamation ceremony, McClelland and Doll were again in the arena to present plaques to Illinois 4-H Superior Young Producer Award Scholarship Program recipients. The scholarships are sponsored by Prairie Farms to promote youth development, career development, and personal growth through increased knowledge of the animal agriculture industry.

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