Despite the frigid cold North Dakota temperatures, Jerry Messer’s heart is warm! Jerry, a second generation dairy farmer, displays a tremendous amount of pride and passion in every facet of his life — from taking excellent care of his cows, being environmentally conscious of his land, holding together his family, and his enthusiasm for promoting the farm’s finished product every chance he gets.
The cold weather has become a way of life for Jerry; colder temperatures equal working longer hours to ensure cows are warm and comfortable. Animal care has always been a top priority for Beaver Creek Ranch, and the Messer family works closely with a team of professionals that include veterinarians and nutritionists who help keep their cows healthy.
However, Jerry isn’t the only one bundling up and braving the cold. Jerry and his wife, Deb, along with three of Jerry’s brothers: Mark, Greg and Scott, and their spouses work as a team, cold weather or not, and aid in the success of their farm, season-after-season, year-after-year.
Beaver Creek Ranch includes 250 head of Holstein cows, a 1,000-cow beef herd and an amazing 23,000 acres of corn, wheat, barley, oats and alfalfa, which also includes pasture in which their cows graze.
Taking good care of their cattle just makes sense to Jerry and his family. “We are committed to producing safe, high-quality milk and dairy foods,” says Jerry.
Building a better tomorrow also makes sense to Jerry. “Dairy farmers care about legacy and the importance of passing on a better future to the next generation,” he says.
That’s one important reason why Jerry also enthusiastically supports Fuel Up to Play 60, a program which encourages kids to combine 60 minutes of exercise with eating a balanced, healthy diet that includes three servings of dairy each and every day. Dairy farmers like Jerry fund the program, in a partnership with the NFL and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Jerry is the chair of the National Dairy Council and Midwest Dairy Association, and his involvement with Fuel Up to Play 60 is varied, fueling his pride and passion for how the program reaches children in schools. “The dairy industry has a long-standing history in schools nationwide and has become a vehicle to help children to change,” says Jerry. “Children are learning to help themselves by becoming leaders and also by inspiring their peers to be healthier.”
“This is ultimately a win for all, building a better and healthier future,” says Jerry, with the confidence of one who has observed Fuel Up to Play 60’s success in encouraging kids to eat healthier and exercise more, benefitting not only their waistlines but their ability to learn.
On top of Jerry’s role in the dairy industry, he has served on both the school and hospital boards for nearly twenty years. “Dairy is a solution to our nation’s childhood obesity problem,” he says. “I’m proud of Fuel Up to Play 60’s ability to address this problem, but also proud that it has opened a door for dairy farmers, like me, to tell our dairy good story to so many children that are generations removed from agriculture.