GRAVETTE -- The Tim Crawley family, owners of Crawley's Valley View Farms in Gravette, has been named one of the 2020 Members of Distinction by Dairy Farmers of America.
In recognition of the Crawley family's hard work, a $2,000 donation has been made to the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank in Bethel Heights in its name, which will go toward the purchase of much-needed dairy products.
The Members of Distinction program recognizes dairy farmers who excel in their operation, in their communities and in the industry. Honorees inspire others through their actions, leadership and involvement. They represent the best of the dairy industry and embody the cooperative's core values.
The association is comprised of more than 13,000 farmer-owners across the United States. Each year, one notable member farm from seven regional areas is honored for leading the industry with vision, dedication and innovation. Crawley's Valley View Farm represents the cooperative's Southeast Area.
Tim and Nikki Crawley didn't always think they'd end up on a dairy.
While Tim grew up on his family's dairy farm, they dispersed their herd and got out of the dairy business in 1990 after Tim returned to the farm after college. Shortly after, Tim went to work as a metering sales representative for the National Dairy Herd Information Association and traveled to New Zealand, throughout the United States and to nearly every province in Canada.
Nikki grew up a city girl with no agricultural background to speak of. She was a businesswoman who traveled the country, thriving in the car rental industry.
Tim and Nikki's paths crossed when he was renting a car in Green Bay, Wis. They started dating and Tim decided to get back into the dairy business, care for his family's 650 acres and build his herd back to 300 cows. They were married in 1995 and shortly after started a family in Gravette.
Their daughters, Jessica and Brittany, grew up on the same land as Tim and were homeschooled by their parents within walking distance of their grandparents.
Both active in the American Milking Shorthorn Junior Society, a national nonprofit youth organization, the girls inherited their parents' love of travel, showcasing the milking shorthorn breed across the country.
Through the organization, Jessica was accepted into the Australian Exchange Program and stayed at 17 different farms throughout Australia for nearly two months in the summer of 2017.
To help improve efficiency on their operation, the Crawleys rely on easy-to-use tools like myDFA to check reports, receive industry news and ensure they have the information they need at their fingertips.
By homeschooling and restoring the success of his family's dairy, Tim and Nikki have been able to continue traveling with their daughters in tow, while building a foundation Tim's grandparents would be proud of. The Crawleys have traveled the world together but remain rooted in their family's commitment to the dairy.
"We're committed to one another. We're committed to the farm. We're committed to the family," says Nikki.