In 1924, Idaho’s dairy industry leaders began meeting as the Idaho Dairymen’s Association (IDA) to develop and sustain an economically viable Idaho dairy industry. In those early days, IDA was funded through voluntary assessments from its processor and producer members.
Today, the IDA falls under the umbrella of the United Dairymen of Idaho (UDI), which was formed in 1980 as a single entity that contains two separate organizations – IDA and the Idaho Dairy Products Commission (IDPC). Each organization serves a different purpose under the auspices of the UDI – IDA deals with industry and government relations projects, while IDPC focuses on promotion and marketing projects.
In 2003, the Idaho Dairy Environmental Action League (IDEAL) LLC was formed, followed by the creation of the IDEAL Foundation in 2008. The IDA teamed with the IDEAL LLC and IDEAL Foundation to assist the Idaho dairy industry and our broader communities realize the many social and economic benefits of successful livestock operations, while working to protect and enhance important air, water and soil resources.
Today, the Idaho Dairymen’s Association works tirelessly at the local, state, regional and federal levels to protect and promote the legislative, regulatory and legal interests of its members.
Chief Executive Officer
Rick Naerebout grew up on his family’s dairy farm in McBain, Michigan, where he learned the value of hard work, integrity, and an appreciation for agriculture that can only be learned on the farm. He moved west with his family after the family dairy was sold in the late 90s and shortly thereafter began a family and his schooling at the College of Southern Idaho and Idaho State University. Naerebout has been married to his wife, Angi, for 17 years, and together they have three daughters.
Rick has been with the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, Inc. for over 15 years, assisting with the Association’s environmental, legal, economic, legislative and stewardship efforts. The IDA is a progressive Association that represents all of Idaho’s nearly 500 dairy farms. Recently named CEO of the Association, he manages the day-to- day operations of the organization, which includes IDA Consulting Services, a new division within IDA that provides on-farm services, through its highly skilled staff, ranging from nutrient management planning to dairy worker training and safety programs.
Bob Naerebout has spent the entirety of his career within the dairy industry. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1975 and has experienced life as a University employee when he managed Michigan State’s Dairy Research and Teaching Center, to milking his own herd of cows for nearly 20 nears prior to moving to Idaho.
In 2002 Bob took a position with of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association (IDA) as their as the Executive Director. IDA was established in 1924 and represents all dairy producers of Idaho. The purpose of the Association is to protect the Idaho’s dairy industry through environmental, legal and legislative leadership.
During the fall of 2017 Bob narrowed the focus of his role with the Association to leading IDA in its government affairs and continuing to serve on the various national dairy industry boards he has been appointed to. Many of those boards’ primary goal is to see responsible immigration reform successfully moved forward. Bob currently serves on the Executive Committees of both the National Immigration Forum and the Agricultural Coalition for Immigration Reform as well as a committee member of the University of Idaho Latino Advisory Committee and the National Milk Producers Federation Immigration Taskforce.
Through Bob’s engagements surrounding immigration reform, he and the IDA has become widely recognized as a leader in the immigration reform debate. This past fall, IDA and Bob received the Community Council of Idaho 2017 Advocate of the Year award, which speaks to his tireless work supporting our the immigrant communities.
GRaphic designer & communications specialist
Kady graduated top of her class from the College of Southern Idaho in 2016 with an Associate's degree in Digital Media. She developed a passion for graphic design while in school and has continued to pursue that passion through IDA. Being the youngest in all her educational endeavors has never stopped her from achieving her dreams. In her spare time, she is a snowboard instructor at Pomerelle Ski Resort, an avid PS4/PC gamer, and a volunteer designer with Voices Against Violence. Currently, Kady works on IDA's website, newsletter, email marketing, and other miscellaneous, tech-related jobs. Kady has been with IDA since December of 2016.
dairy worker training & safety specialist
Ryan DeWit grew up within the industry on his family’s dairies in Texas. Starting at an early age, he experienced and learned different facets of the dairy each summer as he grew up. Throughout Ryan’s years in college he went through different classes, programs, and internships, all geared toward agriculture, business, or dairy specifically. Ryan recently graduated from Texas Tech with a Master of Agribusiness degree. Ryan joined the Idaho Dairymen’s Association staff to head up the Dairy Worker Training and Safety Program. This is a new program designed to provide Idaho’s dairy workers with ongoing job training, while increasing safety awareness - from employee to owner.
Environmental Programs Director
Stephanie Kulesza, PhD.
Stephanie received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas in Environmental, Soil, and Water Sciences in December 2011 and went on to complete her PhD at Virginia Tech in 2015. Her dissertation research focused on the impact of manure injection on nitrogen cycling and antibiotic transport when compared to Virginia’s typical broadcast application. Stephanie moved to Twin Falls, ID in September 2015 to join the Idaho Dairymen’s Association as a Nutrient and Water Management Specialist. The IDA formed IDA Consulting Services, Inc. in 2015 to continue to support Idaho’s proactive dairy industry by providing in-house resources for nutrient management and manure management related issues. Stephanie is a resource for the dairy industry in Idaho, providing nutrient management planning and environmental consulting services. She is also active in producer outreach and education, coordinating nutrient management workshops every spring and collaborating with extension and ARS scientists to bring new information to the dairy industry.
Nutrient management technician
Megan was raised in southern Idaho where she developed a passion for agriculture and animals. Growing up, she would much prefer driving the tractor, weeding a bean field, and feeding cattle over practicing the piano. She received a B.S. in Agriculture and Technology from the University of Idaho and recently earned a M.S. in Natural Resources. Megan has ten years of research experience in forage production and soil fertility. One of the major research projects that she has worked on is the Long-Term Impacts of Dairy Manure Applications in a Rotational Cropping System. She started with IDA Consulting Services, Inc. in June 2017 as the Nutrient Management Technician. When Megan isn't working her “town” job, she spends time helping her husband, Kabel, on the family cow-calf operation in Southern Idaho. Whether it's riding, vaccinating cattle, haying, or fence-fixing, there is nothing she enjoys more than working alongside her husband and their three boys. When she has free time, she likes to garden, read, fish, and watch the boys play football.