May 22, 2024

State of Illinois proclaims 2023 as Prairie Farms’ 85th anniversary

Emily McClelland (from left), Matt McClelland, Jerry Costello II, Frank Doll and Pam Doll with the 85th anniversary proclamation.

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — To commemorate the company’s long-term commitment to the state of Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a proclamation naming 2023 as the 85th anniversary of Prairie Farms Dairy.

Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello II presented the proclamation to Prairie Farms during a ceremony at the Illinois State Fair on Aug. 19.

Matt McClelland, Prairie Farms’ CEO/executive vice president, and Frank Doll, Prairie Farms’ board president, accepted the proclamation.

“As we celebrate our 85th anniversary, it was an honor to accept the proclamation on behalf of our hardworking farm families. I am grateful to the governor’s office for recognizing our cooperative’s accomplishments,” McClelland said. “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.”

“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,” Doll said.

“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,” was brought to life by Lorilee Schultz, a Prairie Farms member from Mil-R-Mor Dairy in Orangeville.

Schultz’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.

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

Shortly after the proclamation ceremony, McClelland and Doll were in the Obernagel Livestock Center 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.