Roger Osborne, President, founder of B & R Dairy Equipment, has been a pillar here since 1975. Roger and his wife, Pam, live in Winthrop. Together they have raised 9 children and enjoy their 12 grandchildren and spending time with the family. Roger has a Bachelor’s degree from Mankato State in Business Administration. He loves “working with dairy families and helping them have the best milking possible.” In addition to his dedication to his customers and the dairy community, Roger also serves as a deacon in the Catholic Church. His hobbies include hunting and fishing with his family and friends as well as playing cards (cribbage in particular!). When looking to the future of the dairy industry, Roger says, “I see those who love to dairy staying in the business and using new technology to help make money.”
Tom Witucki, General Manager, started his employment with B & R during the early years. In Tom’s 35 years he mostly loves “helping dairy farmers improve their milking situation making their lives easier and more enjoyable.” Tom grew up on a farm and often helped neighbors with baling and milking. He has a vast list of skills, including good insights and creativity in solving a dairy producer’s needs for remodeling or new installations. Tom is more than willing to give his personal cell phone number to customers so he can help them anytime. Tom bids most jobs and oversees installations. It is also common to see Tom volunteering to help his family and friends with their building and construction projects. Tom sees the future including “more technology to help farmers be more profitable.” Tom and his wife, Celeste, have 2 children and two grandchildren. Tom loves spending time with his precious granddaughters, gardening and smoking meat.
Kevin Johnson, Service Manager, started at B & R Dairy in 1988, with 28 years of service experience. Kevin, his wife, Deb, (and dog Bently!) reside in Fairfax. Before joining our team, Kevin milked cows on 5 different dairy farms. Kevin most enjoys helping dairymen with their farms and improving their operations. What makes Kevin unique is his willingness to make sure that he can give them the best choice for their operations. In the future, Kevin says, “there will be a move towards more automation and robots.” Besides serving our customers, Kevin also enjoys fishing, hunting, gardening, working around his house, and spending time with his grandchildren and family.
Ryan Johnson, Service Technician, has been with B & R for 3 years and joined our team after 8 years of farm experience. Ryan lives in Bird Island with his wife, Natasha, and their three children. He enjoys his coworkers and the farmers for whom he works. In addition to his service at B & R Dairy Equipment, Ryan also volunteers at the Bird island Fire Department, enjoys playing golf, bowling, and loves being a husband and father. In the next 10-20 years of the dairy industry, Ryan sees more robots coming into operation. Ryan’s favorite pastime is baseball.
Tracy Schaefer, Route Specialist, has been part of the B & R team since January of 2012. Tracy currently lives in rural Fairfax with his teenaged son. Prior to joining B & R Dairy Equipment, Tracy was a dedicated dairy farmer, specializing in his love and passion for registered Holstein cattle. Tracy’s position gives him the opportunity to “work with my customers to fix any issues they may have.” He also enjoys the successes of his customers. In addition to hanging out with his son and attending school events as a father, Tracy enjoys his most important passion: dairy show cattle. Tracy can be found judging shows, leading a sale crew of dairy cattle, and showing cattle at various state shows. Currently, Tracy serves as a board member for the Minnesota Holstein Association.
Jim Kuphal, Office Manager, started at B & R Dairy in 1998. Jim was a dairy farmer for over 20 years before he decided to go back to school where he received a degree in Ag Production/Accounting and Accounting/Micro Computer Specialist from Mankato Vo-Tech/South Central Technical College, Mankato. Jim likes “being able to help our customers get the right parts, and having the right parts in our store for our service technicians. “I also enjoy being with my co-workers.” Jim’s unique history as a dairy farmer and the love of numbers as an accountant, makes a perfect fit for his position at B & R. “I find it interesting to meet our customers in person after talking to them over the phone many times.” Jim still lives on the farm he grew up on, outside of Winthrop, with his wife of 31 years, Myrna. Jim and Myrna have four adult children. Jim loves watching most Minnesota sports (Vikings mostly), and visiting his children, especially in Tuscon AZ. Being active in church, school, DHIA board, and township board (for over 30 years), Jim still finds some free time for exercising and remodeling his old dairy barn into a shop/storage shed for wood working and mechanics. In the future, Jim says “The dairy community will continue on the same path it is currently on. There will be fewer and larger dairies. I hope that the family dairies will survive and we will not have to rely on commercial dairies.”
Pam Osborne, Human Resources/Payroll/Office, has worked at B & R since 1992. Pam loves the people, employees and customers, as well as the diversity in what she does. She has a 2 year degree in Animal Health Technology from the University of Minnesota Waseca, an Education degree from MSU, Mankato, and a Pastoral Ministry graduate degree from St. Mary’s University, Winona. Looking to the future, she thinks there will continue to be an increase in technology, more robots, and a continuing decline in the small family farms but an increase in family dairy corporations. Pam grew up on a South Dakota farm: once a country girl always a country girl at heart. Pam and her husband, Roger, have the blessings of a blended family, and enjoy spending time with their nine kids and families, which include twelve grandchildren. Active in her church and community, Pam also likes traveling, nature, music, art, history, sewing, and watching comedies: laughter is the best medicine!
Drew Schmidt, Technology Support Administrator, began his employment at B & R Dairy in 2014. In addition to his 20+ years of computer/technology experience Drew also has a Bachelor of Science degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Drew resides in Winthrop, with his wife, Megan, and 2 daughters. When asked about the favorite part of his job, Drew said, “Every day is a new challenge with new opportunities. Technology advancements are helping dairies in many ways these days from heat activity management systems, new parlor equipment, and robots. It is neat to find solutions for each unique dairy farm to help them provide quality milk.” Drew is also a business owner of B & R Mobile Solutions which started in 2015, providing a variety of technology and business services, including security cameras. Looking to the future, Drew states, “I am a technology guy that has seen the advancement in computer management systems and I believe that will only get stronger, which more (producers) will rely on to make automatic decisions to help their operations.” Besides work and entrepreneurship, Drew also enjoys Minnesota sports, especially hockey, traveling around Minnesota and the US, watching horse races at Canterbury Park, and spending time with his family and watching his 2 daughters grow up fast.
Orrin Alsleben bikes to work whenever he can! As he is usually the first one at the warehouse in the morning, Orrin is the chief coffee-maker. He spends his day washing shells, putting together inflations and shells, and rinsing chemical barrels. Orrin’s hobby finds him creating bird houses and other items out of scrap wood in the shop behind his house. He and his wife, Rose, live in Winthrop, MN.
Courtney (Klehr) Theis, helps clean the office at 108 N. Renville in her “spare” time. Courtney grew up on a family dairy farm north of Winthrop, where she learned how to work hard. A graduate of Winona State University with a degree in elementary education, Courtney is a teacher at St. Anthony Catholic School in New Ulm, Minnesota. Courtney and her husband, Connor, live in LeSueur.
Rebecca Klehr, helps to clean the B & R office. Growing up on her family’s dairy farm, Rebecca learned the value of working hard. Rebecca delights anyone in her presence with her cheerful personality, and always has a smile. She is a recent graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University/Marshall, majoring in communications, and is actively seeking employment in her field.
Makenzie Klehr works cleaning at the B & R Dairy office. She is dedicated to her family, the animals on their farm, and her education. Makenzie is a student at Ridgewater College in Hutchinson, discerning a major in nursing, while at the same time helping at the family dairy as much as she possibly can. Makenzie loves the dairy farm, and dreams of someday making cheese on the farm.