Family and the Land

Clauss Dairy Farms

What do you do if you’re a dairy farmer with dreams of passing along the business to your sons, but instead you are blessed with three daughters? If you’re Richard Clauss, who started Clauss Dairy Farms in the 1950s with 25 cows, you find a way to instill your love of the Jersey cow in your daughters and help each of them start their own dairy.

Kimberly Clauss Jorritsma and her sister, Karen Tate, are partners in Jersey Generations, which oversees the management of Clauss Dairy Farms and Sunwest Jersey Dairy, milking over 3,300 registered Jersey cows and providing milk for Hilmar Cheese Company. The operations are based in California’s Central Valley.

Hilmar Cheese Company was founded in 1984 with 12 Jersey families. “We were seeking to maximize the value of our high solids Jersey milk,” says Kimberly. “Today, we have more than 200 dairies in California and Texas providing high quality milk to produce cheese, whey protein, and lactose. Hilmar ships those products to more than 50 countries around the world.”

I’m just so thankful that I’m able to work in agriculture and able to work with my family in this environment.

—KIMBERLY CLAUSS JORRITSMA

Kimberly and her family operations are new to American AgCredit, but already she is a satisfied customer-owner. “So far it has been a fantastic experience. We were impressed with the scale and portfolio. We liked the people and we see a long future with American AgCredit because of what they’re doing with technology. We enjoy working with our relationship manager, Art Moessner. He takes the extra step and is always there with solutions. And we really appreciated the 1% cash patronage distribution last year; it makes a huge difference to operations.” Not only is Kimberly a customer, she is also a new board member.

“One of the things I noticed when I first joined the American AgCredit Board was the diversity of people within the team,” she says. “Each member’s story is different and with those diverse perspectives, we’re able to help our organization toward continued success in serving customers like me into the future.”

At the end of the day, it all comes back to family and the land for this lifelong farm girl. “I’m just so thankful that I’m able to work in agriculture and able to work with my family in this environment,” Kimberly says. “I have two small sons that I hope will be part of this ag operation. So for me, it’s what life’s all about.”

Kimberly Clauss Jorritsma

Hilmar Cheese Company

Clauss Dairy Farms

Clauss Dairy Farms

Clauss Dairy Farms

Hilmar Cheese Company

Richard Clauss and Kimberly Clauss Jorritsma

Clauss Dairy Farms

Hilmar Cheese Company

Richard Clauss and grandsons

Clauss Dairy Farms

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