Founding of the dairy
Double S Dairy was founded in 1997 by Joost Smulders and Monique Stroeve. Joost and Monique had been growing Sunflowers to pay for their trips to the United States from The Netherlands to explore areas to start up a dairy. After several of these trips, they chose Dublin, Texas. Joost and Monique got married and left for Dublin on April 28th, 1997. By May 5th they had 8 fresh heifers and 40 springers and their first milk in the tank, (with a spoon on the agitator). A lot of thanks goes out to their friends and new neighbors that made this possible, (Gooike and Jan-Pieter de Vries). Monique would be milking in their swing 6 barn as Joost would run down to Sun Valley Dairy with his pickup to get a load of feed.
Within 2 months they had purchased their first tractor, and with an old feed mixing wagon from Sun Valley Dairy, they were able to quit using the truck as a feed wagon to feed the cows.
In September 1997, Joost and Monique leased the Parks Hill Dairy in Lingleville, from Harold Wahne Parks on a handshake. Harold and his wife Lenette became good friends and offered a helping hand when needed. Joost and Monique put every spare penny into more cows and by February 2000 Double S Dairy was milking 485 cows and had a load of milk every 36 hours. Joost and Monique leased a second dairy, Double S Dairy #2, which was a half mile down the road and it shipped its first load of milk on April 1st. They purchased all of Bob Lueck’s cows and had a 5 year lease/purchase agreement with he Lueck family on the facility. Joost tackled Double S Dairy #2 while Monique ran Double S Dairy #1. They were now producing just over 2 loads of milk every day.
In 2002 they were able to expand again by leasing a third dairy called Pigeon Road Dairy, which brought their combined herd to around 2,100 cows. This laid the foundation of their ultimate goal of building their new dairy.
In the Spring of 2004 that goal was reached and construction on the new dairy began in Hartley, Texas. This new dairy, soon to be called Double S Dairies, is a 2,450 cow free stall facility with a 60 stall rotary milking parlor.
Joost and Monique Smulders, the founders of Double S Dairies, were born in the Netherlands. They both studied at the HAS (Higher Agricultural education) in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. Joost has a Bsc in dairy and Monique a Bsc in foodtechnology. They left for the USA in 1997 after they finished their study and got married. They now have 4 children: Jorden (2003), Luke (2004), Matt (2006) and Erin (2008).