One of the few dairy farms in Southern Utah and visible from Interstate 15, sits the farm of local family farmer-owners and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) members, brothers Steve and Paul Byl of Dutch Cowboy Dairy. Usually confused for the sole owners of The Creamery, Steve likes to explain that they are merely a humble dairy family from Holland and one of many DFA family farm-owners who are proud to support and supply milk to the booming dairy destination, The Creamery.
Filled with a passion for farming, graced with a genuine smile and a knack for hard work, Steve and his family are a great example of the many DFA farm families that make up The Creamery’s farmer ownership. They just happen to be right down the road from us.
At age of 18, Steve emigrated to the United States as an exchange student from Holland. As a hardworking and eager young adult, the U.S. was a land of opportunity, and once he was offered a number of jobs it became difficult to consider going home. Five years later, Steve married his wife, Yvonne, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Steve’s U.S. dairy career began with him working as a farm hand in Oregon before he and his brother began their own dairy in Texas where they fed cows manually from a wheelbarrow. Nineteen years later and a desire to grow the farm, they moved the farm to Paragonah, Utah. Steve credits their career in the dairy industry to the passion and sacrifice they have had to make.
“To be successful in this business you have to sacrifice,” said Steve. With five kids of his own, there were long days on the farm that meant he had to miss out on school events and sports. “Now that I’m older and my son, Matt, is the farm manager, I get to enjoy my grandkids even more.”
Steve likes to spend his time with his grandkids by getting them involved in their local town events. Every summer you can find the family, throwing out fresh bags of The Creamery cheddar cheese curd at the local Fourth of July and Labor Day parades.
“Each year we do a float or two and donate to support the local parade, rodeo and demo derby,” said Steve. Before the pandemic they also worked with schools and offered farm tours. “I’m a big believer in sharing dairy with kids. They are the future of the food industry. We want to share our story and educated them on the nutritional benefits of dairy.”
Not only are the Byls big supporters of community events but they also create an impact on the small-town economy by employing 25 local workers.
“Our money is spent local, our employees are local,” said Steve. Since moving to Southern Utah, the family has found the small town of Paragonah and the surrounding communities very welcoming. “It’s been a nice place to raise kids. And the local communities have always been very supportive.”
With more than 40 years under his belt filled with plenty of ups and downs, Steve is still very positive about the future of dairy.
“It’s a tough industry to get into, you have to have the capital, the passion and the dedication to survive. But it’s very rewarding to look back and see how far we’ve come,” said Steve. With all the long hours and work his family has put into their livelihood, to see how the industry continues to evolve and support local dairy farmers is exciting to see. “We love seeing new recipes in DFA’s magazine, Half & Half, and seeing people lined up around the block for a scoop of ice cream at The Creamery. Supporting dairy means supporting hardworking families like ours!”
The family is active in their community, supporting and involved in local Fourth of July and Labor Day parades.