Julie Alexander, of Hanover, has been named this year's winner of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) Excellence in Dairy Promotion Award. She was presented with the award on Feb. 7 at the 11th annual Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference in Frankenmuth.
The Excellence in Dairy Promotion Award, sponsored annually by the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, recognizes one outstanding Michigan dairy farm family member for his or her dedication to promoting dairy products.
Award recipients possess extensive dairy promotion accomplishments and have dedicated numerous hours of volunteer service to the dairy industry and his or her local community.
Alexander has been married to her husband Jeff for 26 years and the couple has four children, Andrew, Adam, Jared and Anna, and one granddaughter, Addison.
Along with their oldest son Andrew, they operate Na-Lar Farm, a third generation family farm that includes 1,000 acres and a 90-head herd of Holsteins that ranks among the top 10 herds in the state for milk production.
An active volunteer in the community and her children's school, promoting the dairy industry has simply been a way of life for the Jackson County dairy woman.
For many years, Alexander presented one-hour talks about dairy farming to the Hanover-Horton first grade classes, and she held an annual Easter egg hunt on the family's farm for 100 community children for 13 years.
Jackson County residents were able to attain an up close appreciation for the daily responsibilities tied to operating a dairy farm during two full-day Family Farm Fests hosted at the family's farm, and Alexander's Labor Day gathering every three years drew in more than 400 people from both rural and urban neighborhoods.
Alexander has served on numerous dairy industry groups ranging from the NorthStar-DHI Advisory Group to representing the state at the National Milk Producers' Federation conference to being a member of the state and national Holstein association and actively participating with the Michigan Farm Bureau.
She was named the Jackson County Dairy Woman of the Year in 1993 and received the Jackson County Farm Bureau Service to Agriculture Award in 2004.
Alexander is currently serving her second term as a Jackson County Commissioner representing the 6th District, which covers Concord, Spring Arbor, Pulaski and Hanover Townships.
She oversees the County's Education Strategic Priority, and serves as the chairperson of the County's Education Team, Cradle to Career (C2C) Initiative, the Jackson 2020 Education Strand and the County's Human Services Committee.
Alexander has 22 years of teaching experience covering the gamut from middle school English Language Arts to adult education.
"Julie Alexander's many years of leadership in promoting the dairy industry and volunteering in her community exemplify the essence of the Excellence in Dairy Promotion Award," said Sharon Toth, chief executive officer of UDIM, headquartered in Okemos. "We are proud to honor Julie for her dedication, accomplishments and service to the dairy industry."
UDIM is the umbrella organization for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council of Michigan. These non-profit organizations provide dairy product promotion and nutrition education services on behalf of funding members.
For more information about the UDIM or to submit a nomination for the 2014 Excellence in Dairy Promotion Award, visit www.udim.org.