Blake Alexandre grew up on a small dairy in the beautiful valley of Ferndale, California. From a young age, Blake worked on the dairy with his father Joseph Alexandre, first raising calves, evolving into everything on the farm. A committed and passionate 4-H and FFA member, Blake served as a State FFA Officer in 1980-81. Blake went on to study dairy science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
While at Poly, Blake was on the Dairy Judging Team, where he was awarded the National High Individual Dairy Judging Award at the World Dairy Expo. He was also a large part of the “Project Dairy” at Cal Poly, where not only did he pay his way through school, but also came out with a profit after he was finished. Blake sold his prize cow to buy an engagement ring for his future wife, Stephanie. Four years later, they bought their first dairy in Crescent City.
Found with his hands deep in the soil, Blake recognizes that knowing how and when to correctly manage soil is ultimately what a grassmilk farmer must know. As soil gains nutrition, so will the grass, the cows, the milk, and the consumer.
Blake is an active member in his community. Blake was a member of the California Agriculture Leadership program, Class 22. He sits on the Junior Livestock Auction Board, North Coast Regional Land Trust Board, California Organic Products Advisory Committee, Del Norte County Resource Conservation District, and the Farm Bureau Board.
Stephanie (Moons) Alexandre grew up in the dairy farming valley of Chino, California with her family. She was out with the calves and cows as soon as she could walk and was always out helping her parents, Jack and Bea Moons. Quickly she began driving equipment for green chop on the dairy. Stephanie loved showing dairy cattle in 4-H, and was an impressive athlete on the volleyball court.
Stephanie is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo earning her BS in agricultural business. Stephanie is often heard saying that as a child she prayed she would marry a dairy farmer, but did not plan on doing so much office work. Most days she can be found running the office, as the Alexandre Dairy Controller.
Stephanie serves the community by being on the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) Board, Del Norte County 4-H Club Leader, being a passionate voice about local education, and a nutrient-dense food enthusiast. A community highlight is Stephanie’s Bucket Calf program, which started in 1995, as a way for her young kids to have their friends come to the dairy and learn about the agricultural life, while showing the calf at the fair too.
Found frequently in the kitchen, Stephanie knows and values the importance of good nutrition for a family. Her open arms often mean that the Alexandre family dinner table is often filled with guests.
Joseph Alexandre graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with an MBA in 2014. He also earned his BS in agriculture business and a minor in dairy science at Cal Poly. Joseph worked as an assistant herdsman for the Cal Poly dairy and later became the lead butcher at the on-campus meat-processing center.
Joseph brought order to the Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show, streamlining the exhibitor entries and results systems through the modification of new software. He was asked to consult for the Salinas Valley Fair in a similar role. He was an active member in the College of Agriculture, Food, & Environmental Sciences Student Council, Alpha Zeta Honors Fraternity, and co-chaired Cal Poly’s Animal Science Reunion.
Joseph is a co-founder of Alexandre Kids, LLC – currently selling organic pastured eggs and pork. Joseph is married to his wife Alexa, a Ferndale high agriculture teacher, and is currently overseeing operations for the Alexandre Dairy with a primary purpose of managing the Humboldt dairy locations.
Christian Alexandre graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in agriculture business. While taking all the poultry classes available at Cal Poly, Christian brought his passion and expertise with pastured hens to the Cal Poly Poultry Unit during his time in college. Christian had a newfound love for rugby while at Poly, aggressively playing two years for the college club team, and was awarded rookie of the year.
With a true passion for chickens, Christian followed in Joseph’s footsteps as a co-founder of Alexandre Kids, LLC. Christian was awarded the National Poultry Proficiency Award from the National FFA Association, as well as the National Star Agribusiness Award the following year. Christian was a leader in Cal Poly Agriculture Ambassadors and Los Lecheros Dairy Club, and was a member of the Alpha Zeta Honors Fraternity and Western Bonanza Livestock Show.
Chasing his dream, Christian is now back home on the Alexandre Dairy managing the egg business, while also assisting in managing outside crews in irrigation, fieldwork and the shop crew. Christian represents the family on the board for the Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (WODPA), FFA State Agricultural Advisory Committee, Del Norte County 4-H Poultry Club Leader, and an active AWANA leader at Fort Dick Bible Church.
Vanessa Alexandre graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in agriculture business and a minor in dairy science in 2015. Vanessa worked as a campus tutor, college photographer, and poultry unit employee during her college years. Leaving for five months to study pastured dairy farms in New Zealand, Vanessa solidified her love for cows and lush pasture.
Vanessa found her place co-managing Cal Poly’s Farm Store, a committee of 12 for three years to provide a mock farm store for Cal Poly grown and raised products. Serving as the Student Council President, Vanessa held leadership roles in the College of Agriculture, Food, & Environmental Sciences Student Council, Agriculture Ambassadors, Alpha Zeta Honors Fraternity, and co-chairing the Agribusiness Gala Reunion and Western Bonanza Livestock Show. Among her accomplishments at Cal Poly, Vanessa was awarded the Soares Outstanding Junior Award in Agriculture, Carl Beck Outstanding Senior Award, and University Contributions to the College Award.
Pursuing her passions, Vanessa is currently working at the Alexandre Dairy overseeing the calves and transition heifer areas, and as well as Alexandre Kids, LLC marketing. Vanessa represents the family and business on the Del Norte County Rural Human Services Board, while utilizing her love for youth and service as the Del Norte County 4-H executive team leader and citizenship leader.
Dalton Alexandre is studying BioResource and Agriculture Engineering (BRAE) at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. An active member in the Ag Engineering Society, Dalton has combined his love for taking apart, rebuilding, and fixing machinery at the Alexandre Dairy to find his place at Cal Poly.
Dalton serves many leadership roles at Cal Poly, including the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences Student Council and Cal Poly’s Western Bonanza Livestock Show, while also being a fraternity brother of Alpha Gamma Rho, Chi Chapter, a fraternity his father, Blake, was a part of in college. Dalton lives in the house and carries the role of finance chair.
Dalton utilized his learned engineering skills to design a brooder house for the Alexandre Kids Egg business. He will be taking his Fundamentals of Engineering Test in the spring to further his say on similar projects with the intention of receiving his Professional Engineering License a few years out of school.
Savanna Alexandre is a junior at Del Norte High School, with high hopes of following in the footsteps of her parents and siblings by attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Savanna has been driving tractors since the age of six, progressing into a lead equipment operator at the dairy. Spending countless hours on equipment, Savanna assists in operating the harvester, swather, and clipper during associated seasons.
Savanna is a member of the Del Norte County 4-H club, showing dairy cattle and pigs for the past eight years. She is also an active leader in the Del Norte County FFA chapter, serving as the 2014-15 Chapter President.
SANTOS NUNEZ – Field Manager
Santos grew up in Mexico and has worked at the site of the Alexandre Dairy since 1981, even before Blake and Stephanie bought the dairy. He “came with the dairy,” and the Alexandres are sure glad he did. Santos and his wife Juana have seven kids, many of which grew up working with the Alexandres on the farm. Humberto, Santos Jr., Emmanual, Cristian, Eric, Leslie, and Agustin grew up on the ranch and were raised learning how to work hard. Santos manages outside fieldwork including fixing fences and water troughs, and working with heifers on pasture. His experience, common sense, and general wisdom regarding everything on the farm are extremely admirable to the Alexandres.
FRANCISCO (PANCHO) RODRIGUEZ – EcoDairy Manager
Pancho has been a part of the Alexandre Dairy since 1984, before the Alexandre’s bought the home farm. Like Santos, Pancho also came with the dairy, and was a lead milker for 13 years. Pancho continued to excel on the dairy, advancing to a management position in Smith River at EcoDairy, our first organic milk barn, in 2001. At EcoDairy, Pancho manages three employees, and continues to be a thoughtful, persistent milker. Pancho and his wife Pam have three sons Ryan, Max, and Taylor. He is a loyal, hard working manager continuing to make EcoDairy and its employees shine.
JOSE (PANCHO) ALVARADO – Humboldt Dairy Manager
Pancho started working for Blake’s grandfather, William Trutalli, in Ferndale in 1987 as a milker. He moved on to work for Blake’s father, Joe Alexandre, as a milker advancing to an outside herdsman position, in 1990 on the farm where Blake grew up. In 2000, he continued with the Alexandre Family under Blake’s supervision at Alexandre Acres in Ferndale. Pancho and his wife Teresa have raised their kids Alex, Jose, Vanessa, and Valeria on multiple generations of Alexandre dairies. Pancho manages 17 employees in Ferndale and Eureka, while also handling all vendors and neighbor relations.
ANGEL LOPEZ – Dairy Manager
At the early age of six, Angel was part of the Alexandre Family. Showing cattle in 4-H, FFA, and Grange, Angel has been a role model for the Alexandre kids with his passion for cows. Angel moved away after high school to Modesto Junior College (MJC) where his passion for dairy cows solidified into a future where he could see himself excel. After MJC, Angel worked at Alexandre Acres in Ferndale helping Pancho breed and take care of cows. In 2009, Angel became the lead herdsman at the home location in Crescent City as Angel and his wife Alicia are large advocates of what the Alexandres believe both for the land and the animals. Angel lives and breathes the Alexandre Dairy core values as he manages 40 employees, thousands of cows, and generally watches over everything.
ADAN ARIAS – Construction Manager
Adan grew up in Mexico and has worked at the Alexandre Dairy since 1997. Adan has been a milker, cow pusher, and calf feeder. In 2001 following a large fire the Alexandre’s had, Adan’s true talents developed on the construction crew, exposing his strengths as a tough manager. Adan’s willingness to work through anything represents a value the Alexandre Family is now looking for in all employees, a “can do” attitude, exemplifying someone who has the mindset that he can do any task asked of him. With his fearless personality and ability to tackle difficult projects, Adan became the lead construction manager in 2008. He manages a crew of four, ranging from building bridges and chicken coops to fixing pumps and barn structures. There is nothing Adan can’t fix, and if he isn’t sure, he’ll find a way to fix it right. Adan and his wife Silvia have three kids, Brianda, Adriana, and Adrian and a granddaughter, Rosie.
JUAN NUNEZ – Egg Ranch Manager
Juan has been a part of the Alexandre Dairy since 2002 at the age of 16. Beginning as an irrigation hand, progressing to a calf-feeder, Juan has gained the family’s respect with his work ethic and positive attitude. He has been involved with egg production since 2008, and is now manager of the Alexandre Kids’ Egg Ranch. The Alexandre’s see many of Santos’ strengths in Juan (his nephew): work ethic, thoughtfulness, and loyal commitment to all the core values of the business. Juan and Luz Maria have four kids, Marcos, Jonathan, Paulina, and Judith.
TOM BESSETTE – Equipment Logistics
Raised in Eureka, California, Tom left for opportunities in Alaska after his 1972 graduation from St. Bernard’s High. He excelled in a career working for Frontier Equipment Company, the largest construction company in Alaska. With over 500 employees, Frontier specializes in building roads, airstrips, and developing infrastructure for the Alaska Pipeline in Prudhoe Bay. At the end of 12 years, Tom was one of the five managers running the company. When Frontier sold, he went to work for ARCO Alaska in the oil fields. Retiring 18 years later as superintendent, Tom was in charge of building and maintaining 300 miles of road systems, all maintenance of 2000 pieces of equipment, security and airport maintenance, and an emergency response team. Tom had a staff of 14, 21 supervisors, and a crew of 500 personnel. In the spring of 2001, Tom and his wife Nancy, with their son Leo, moved to Klamath, California. Tom started working for Alexandre Dairy with management of three hay ranches in Cedarville, oversight of all equipment, while managing all repairs and purchases, and transportation and logistics of incoming feeds and outgoing lumber. His guidance, wisdom, and tough management experience is admirable at the Alexandre Dairy.
Chris Howard grew up in Sacramento, California, graduating from the University of California at Davis in 1993 with a BS in Zoology. In 1994 he was recruited to research Pacific salmon and northern spotted owls on private timberlands in northern California’s coastal redwood forests, which he studied through 2009. He focused his research efforts on many rare and endangered species in the region. His passion for community interests and economic development landed him at the forefront of the Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce for eight years as president/director and many non-profit boards. In 2009, he started at Elk Valley Rancheria as Director of Economic Development, Public Relations and Environmental Services. In 2012, he began working with family friends Blake and Stephanie Alexandre, where he focuses on strategic initiatives to strengthen the Alexandre Family Dairy and broaden business interests. His passion for wildlife and the outdoors are evident through his “can do” attitude when working on different dairy projects. He enjoys traveling with his wife Lisa and two sons, Bryce and Gabe. Bryce works summers at the egg ranch, and Gabe is a helpful hand with heifers on the dairy. Chris also serves the community as a Board of Supervisor for District 3, Del Norte County.