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Arlen Berwald

Arlen Berwald
Arlen Berwald

Eminent Farmer

County: Deuel

Arlen Berwald of Toronto has had one of the top producing dairy herds on official test in South Dakota for the last 30 years.

In 20 years, the Berwald Registered Dairy Farm has grown to include 310 Holstein milking cows and 1,400 dairy animals; 1,600 acres; a fairly new line of farm machinery; and a modest farmstead that includes two new farm homes and six new farm buildings plus four new silos.

Berwald has attained the honor of being one of the state's top dairymen by using artificial insemination and using the best bull sires available. He is an excellent manager and is quick to use new improved methods of dairy production.

In 1979, Berwald was one of the first dairy producers in South Dakota to use embryo transplants. Today, more than 200 calves have been born from fertilized embryos. Berwald was one of the first dairymen in Deuel to use a hay preservative attachment on a baler. He has also used a computerized dairy feeding system and has recently completed a new dairy barn that will be used for around 180 cows.

Berwald's reputation as an outstanding dairy producer goes beyond the borders of South Dakota. He has exported more than 1,000 bulls and heifers to eight foreign nations and nearly every state in the union. The Berwald farm has become a show place for international visitors. Arlen and his family have hosted dairy producers and scientists from the Soviet Union, China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Egypt.

Berwald has been an active member of the Deuel County Dairy Herd Improvement Association since 1970, and a member of the county DHIA board of directors for six years and the state DHIA board for three years. Berwald is a member of the state and national Holstein Association. He has also served on the Deuel County Fair Board, Board of Directors for the Farmers State Bank in Estelline, is an American Legion Member and Korean War veteran.

The Berwald family are active members of the Bethel Baptist Church in Brookings. Arlen has made his family and his community a high, personal priority. The entire Berwald family was active in 4-H. Berwald's five children started showing 4-H dairy cattle at the age of eight. Each child was given a dairy heifer, which was raised and became the foundation of the 4-Her's own dairy herd. Berwald frequently has opened his farm to 4-H judging schools from an eight county area. All of this led to the Berwald family being recognized as the South Dakota Dairy Family of the Year in 1989.

Arlen and his wife Eunice have five children: Calvin and Mike, both of Toronto; Lisa Abeler of Upsala, Minnesota; Rita Tekrony of Toronto; and Sheila of Toronto.