Andy and Itske Miedema were inducted into the Dairy Science Hall of Service on April 8, 2017. The event took place during the Evening of Excellence recognition program hosted by the Department of Animal Sciences.
In 2002, Andy and Itske Miedema moved from the Netherlands to begin their family’s new dairy operation in Circleville, OH. Today, their farm consists of about 1300 cows. As stated by their veterinarian, “I came to respect their intellect, wit, progressive approach to the dairy business, and concern for their cows. The thing that I learned from Andy that made a lasting impression upon me, and helped me to become a better veterinarian and a better person, came from a statement that he often made after listening to one of my bright ideas: ‘Everything is possible.’”
The Miedemas are members of the Ohio Farm Bureau, and they were recognized in 2010 with the Ohio Dairy Producers Association’s (ODPA) Environmental Stewardship Award in association with the Ohio Livestock Coalition (OLC). Andy has served on the Board of Directors for the ODPA and represented the dairy industry on the Concentrated Animal Feeding Facility Advisory Committee with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Andy and Itske have been involved in the education of Ohio State students in many ways, including welcoming undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students to their farm. They have opened their farm for hosting the Ohio Dairy Challenge and in training students to participate in the National Dairy Challenge. All three of their children, Rixt, Sytske, and Jan, have degrees from Ohio State. Both Jan and Sytske have been members of Ohio State’s team at the National Dairy Challenge. Rixt was on OSU’s rowing team when they won the NCAA national championship in 2014.
The Miedema family has continuously welcomed Ohio State faculty and graduate students to conduct research at their farm. They always accept the requests for classes at Ohio State to be brought to the farm. They have also readily accepted the request to speak to classes on campus. Itske has devoted a considerable amount of her personal time to arranging visits for the OSU European Dairy Study Abroad.
Andy and Itske always display a positive attitude and have been devoted to their community, Ohio State, and the Ohio dairy industry. Induction into the Dairy Hall of Service is a fitting recognition for their support of the dairy industry, and the educational and research programs at Ohio State.