Frank Leonardo, Delegate, District 29, Ferndale, CA
Not many people have the ability to make a living in some of the country’s most extreme climates. But delegate Frank Leonardo has done just that. Granted, Humboldt County, California offers extremely beautiful summertime weather, but the wet season lasts over six months from October to April most years! This yearly “norm” makes dairy farming a bit different on the northern coast of California, however this year, the lack of winter weather has allowed summer temperatures to come early, with cows already roaming on green grass in the sunshine at the start of February. As a third-generation dairyman with over 27 years of experience, Frank has handled these changing conditions with ease.
After attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Frank returned to Grizzly Bluff Holsteins where he currently milks 250 cows. But don’t let the name fool you. Besides registered Holsteins, several Ayrshires, Brown Swiss and Milking Shorthorns also call Grizzly Bluff home! While selecting bulls to create cows of moderate type, Frank puts emphasis on good feet and legs, as well as udder composite. “I use Select Sires because of the consistency in their lineup. The large selection of options to breed my cows allows for flexibility and always produces quality cattle,” said Frank.
Having been a customer of All West/Select Sires and Accelerated Genetics for decades, Frank has worked closely with team members Allan Hanselman, Brian Nelson and Darryl Olson.
They noted that not only has Frank seen the benefits of using highend, proven bulls such as MONTROSS, MOGUL, SUPERSIRE, KINGBOY, YODER and more, but also takes advantage of the PGA young sire program. Darryl Olson commented, “Frank is probably my best customer when it comes to utilizing the PGA young sire program to its full extent. He has had very good results using young genomic bulls to improve his herd over the years.”
The man of few words will bring a strong set of skills to the All West Board, including the organic component, and a belief in balanced breeding for ultimate profitability. Darryl shared, “Frank has always been very involved in the dairy industry through serving on various boards. I think he will be a great addition to our board because he understands cows, genetics, and the dairy industry as a whole through his variety of experiences.” He also has quite a love of golf, so any future board outings that include some time on the greens would be a plus for this new delegate!
All West Board President and neighbor to Frank, Jim Regli, thoughtfully encouraged Frank to join our board. “I am not really sure what to expect, but I have known several of the current board members for many years and am looking forward to meeting the rest of them while learning more about our cooperative.”