Member Vote Needed -Eliena Bodtke - PDCA Dairy Committee Chair and provisional Board member

Ron Metz, PDCA President

Eliena graduated from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Canada with an H.B.S.C. degree in Biology. She began her career in research at Agriculture Canada with two summer internships. One of her memorable projects was participating in research on the development of the herbicide Roundup. After a stint at Agriculture Canada, she accepted an offer from the University of Western Ontario at St. Joseph’s Hospital. There she worked on a project involving surfactant layers for premature infants. She was then recruited by John Scientific who was bought out by VWR Scientific. With her background as a laboratory researcher, VWR put her in charge of a region as a sales manager for their research laboratory products. Through her hard work and expertise she expanded her territory from one to three. VWR Scientific moved her to their company headquarters in the U.S. where they promoted her to marketing manager in a

new safety division. Following employment with two other companies in sales and marketing leadership positions, Eliena retired at the age of 41.

Upon retirement, Eliena and her husband Rick purchased a 43ft sailboat and set out to enjoy life. After seven years of fulltime living and traveling on the sailboat, Rick decided it was time to move on to a new adventure. She and Rick bought an RV with the intentions of traveling around the U.S. while looking for a farm to settle down on during the non-summer months. They found the perfect place near Savannah, Tennessee and “Stay ‘N Put Farm” was born.

After coming to the states, Eliena had begun to develop food allergies and her asthma was not improving. One of the main goals for finding a farm was to gain control of their food source and health. Rick found Dexter Cattle while researching cattle breeds. They were a perfect fit for their farm, however they soon discovered their first Dexters did not produce enough milk due to gestation periods. Their solution was to diversify and add dairy goats. From there they expanded into pigs, Muscovy ducks, broilers and layers. With improvements in their Dexters through breeding plus the addition of dairy goats, Eliena found she had to find markets for the excess milk. She put her years of marketing and sales experience to work and successfully developed a local market for her Dexter and goat milk. She then expanded into grass finished Dexter beef and making artisan dairy products from grass fed Dexter and goat milk.

Today her business has grown to the point she has a loyal customer base and rarely accepts new customers. Rather than grow her business further, she now devotes time to mentoring others looking to develop their own local markets. Eliena successfully produces and markets Dexter milk, Nubian goat milk and numerous soft cheeses including Mozzarella and Ricotta made from both Dexter and goat milk. The list also includes Fromage blanc, chevre, Feta, cottage cheese, yogurt, kefir, Greek yogurt and Icelandic yogurt. In addition, Eliena manufactures and sells soaps, shampoos and hard lotions made from both Dexter and goat milk.

Eliena has been breeding Dexters for ten years. She brings to the PDCA board a wealth of marketing and sales experience as well as being accomplished in the production, manufacture and sales of Dexter and goat milk and artisan milk products. The PDCA is extremely fortunate to have her on our team. With board approval, I recently appointed Eliena as a provisional board member pending membership vote. As President of the PDCA, I fully endorse Eliena Bodtke to be voted a member of the PDCA Board of Directors.

Please take a moment to cast your vote (current PDCA members only, please) Voting deadline: Feb 7, 2022