Les Hardesty has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for WDA; Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mountain Area Council of Dairy Farmers of America and Chairman of the National Dairy Council. He has also served as a board member on the United States Dairy Export Council and on the National Milk Producers’ Federation for dairy farm families nationwide.
On behalf of the Western Dairy Association (WDA) Board of Directors, we want to say thank you to a long-time leader, friend and mentor of the dairy community.
Last Tuesday was Les Hardesty’s last Board of Directors meeting at WDA.
For more than 18 years, Les has given thousands of selfless hours as an ambassador to the dairy community locally, regionally and nationally. Les has been a dedicated leader, serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors for WDA; Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mountain Area Council of Dairy Farmers of America and Chairman of the National Dairy Council. He has also served as a board member on the United States Dairy Export Council and on the National Milk Producers’ Federation for dairy farm families nationwide.
“Les has been a real advocate for dairy, not just in promoting dairy but in protecting the image of dairy and dairy farmers,” says Arley George, Chairman of the Board of Directors of WDA. “We appreciate how thoughtful he has been in dealing with all of the challenging issues dairy has faced and how level-headed he has been in his leadership. He has been a great representative for the entire industry.”
Ron Shelton, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, also credits Les for his leadership and service, stating, “As iron sharpens iron, Les has sharpened the dairy industry both in promotion and marketing.”
WDA President and CEO Cindy Haren says, “Les has been a mentor and friend to many in the dairy industry. I have watched him give generously countless hours as a dairy ambassador locally and nationally. He has always looked out for the best interest of the dairy industry and dairy farmers.”
“He has been a noble leader whose calm demeanor and humility have been paramount as our industry has faced serious economic times,” she adds. “His positive spirit has been a perpetual reminder to those of us who have had the honor of working with him to better our lives and to stay dedicated to our roles in strengthening the dairy industry.”
Les, and his wife Sherrill, have owned and operated Painted Prairie, a dairy farm in Weld County, for more than 29 years. Throughout the years, they, along with their three children, have graciously opened their home to many of us and have shared their lives as dairy farmers, consistently showcasing a well-run farm with great animal care.
We are appreciative of the time and service Les has given not just to WDA, but to the dairy community and beyond.
We hope you will join us in thanking Les and wishing him well. WDA and the Mountain Area Council of DFA will co-host a reception in Les’ honor in the near future. Date/time and location are still to be determined. In the meantime, we invite you to send a card or letter of thanks to Les and his family. All well wishes received will be presented to Les at his reception. Please send cards and letters no later than October 1 to: Cindy Haren, Western Dairy Association, 12000 Washington Street, Suite 175, Thornton, CO 80241.
Again, we offer a heartfelt thank you to Les for your dedication and leadership throughout the years. We wish you all the best.
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