To commemorate their work in the dairy industry, the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine will grant Dairy Appreciation Awards to Paul and Barb Liebenstein at the Minnesota Dairy Health Conference in May.

An alumna from the University’s former Waseca campus, Barb Liebenstein worked at the University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, according to a press release from the College of Veterinary Medicine. She and her husband Paul later created a large sustainable dairy operation, which grew rapidly from 40 to 300 cows in about two years. They now milk 450 cows three times a day at the Wolf Creek Dairy in Dundas, Minnesota. The couple also uses the farm to educate people on growth in dairy production by giving tours, according to the release.

Wolf Creek is the last of two independent dairy farms in Bridgewater Township, an area 40 miles south of the Twin Cities where there used to be hundreds of dairies, according to an article from the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

“I guess we'd better be doing a good job if we want this to last," Barb Liebenstein said in the Planet article.

According to the Midwest Dairy Association, there are 4,325 licensed dairy herds in Minnesota today.

"Even if the horizon is scary for the farming industry," Liebenstein said in the Planet article, "we will be just fine as long as we stay focused on what is important."

The Liebensteins’ work will be recognized at the three-day conference, an annual event which updates dairy professionals on advancements in the industry, according to the release. Participants will hear from a variety of speakers about developments in dairy production, food quality and health.