Proud to Play a Role in Feeding a Nation
Dairy farmers take pride in their role in feeding a hungry nation, and Dave and Pam Bolin of Clarksville, Iowa, are no exception. The Bolins’ farm includes 70 milk cows, which are a mixture of all registered Holsteins, Jerseys and Guernseys; an equal number of young stock, and 220 acres of farmland, all of which makes Dave and Pam happy to call Beaver Creek Farm their home for the last 34 years.
Purchased in 1890 by Dave’s great-grandfather, George Washington Bolin, the Bolins are extremely proud to represent the fifth generation in this family Century Farm. The farm’s mission still holds strong: producing the highest quality milk, with the lowest inputs possible.
Dave and Pam grew up in the same town, dated in high school, attended Iowa State University together and have worked together, hand-in-hand, for more than three decades doing what they love—producing a wholesome, great-tasting food to help feed our nation.
Dave and Pam have three adult sons: Matt (Ashley), Dan (Lynn), and James (Nicole), and five grandchildren. Dan and his wife, Lynn, and their two children, Amara and Vance, join Dave and Pam to make the successful team at Beaver Creek Farm.
“We feel blessed beyond words that we have worked together,” says Dave. “And, now seeing the next generation working with us makes me proud, as a dairy farmer, and especially as a father.”
Off the farm, Dave and Pam are both well-known and well-liked among their peers and community. They both are leaders in areas that matter the most to them. Dave has served on various ag-related boards and is currently Butler County Farm Bureau president, while Pam’s endless dedication and involvement shines deeply with her roles on Midwest Dairy Association Iowa Division and Corporate boards, Dairy Management Inc. Board, and Swiss Valley Farms, where she has been chairman for the last six years.
Pam’s dear friend, fellow Iowa dairy farmer and Midwest Dairy board member, Joe Lyon of Toledo, brainstormed the idea of donating dairy products to their local food banks. “At first we were told it could not be done,” says Pam. “However, when there is a will, there is a way.”
And, lucky for those in need, neither Joe nor Pam, or any of the other Iowa dairy farmers were going to take no for an answer. Today, not only has Midwest Dairy donated to the Food Bank of Iowa, but other states have followed suit and feeding the hungry has a role in the national dairy promotion program.
In 2009, $65,000 was donated to help Iowa’s six food banks offer dairy products and health information to those in need. Each year after, Midwest Dairy teamed up with various organizations, such as Star 102.5’s Combat Hunger community food drive, Iowa Farmers Feed US and “Together We Can!” to help match or increase the original dollar amount contributed.
Per USDA guidelines, Midwest Dairy has provided nutrition education materials with its donations to highlight the benefits of consuming three servings of milk, cheese and yogurt every day.
The success of the Food Bank of Iowa partnership makes the Bolin family smile wide. “Even in Iowa, food insecurity is a big issue,” says Pam. “Our dairy donations give a nutrient-rich product that many would otherwise be without.”
This is one reason why Pam has enjoyed her role of educating and promoting others about dairy goodness. “Sharing our great dairy story has always been one of my passions,” she says. “With our nation dealing with both food insecurity and obesity, we need to show how dairy provides a solution for both.”
Dave not only supports his wife’s endless efforts, but agrees wholeheartedly with the need for promotion and education.
Back at the farm, Dave feels his milk cup overflows daily. “I am so thankful to work side-by-side with the woman I love, and together we’ve been able to raise our three sons on our family farm,” he says. “It’s so rewarding to see them now serve the same roles, as husbands and fathers.”