May 06, 2004

Reyburn Kraft named Business Leader of the Year

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Reyburn H. Kraft, president of Chester Dairy, is the Southern Illinois University Carbondale College of Business and Administration's Southern Illinois Business Leader of the Year.

Kraft has been president of the company since 1962. Chester Dairy manufactures Farm Fresh Dairy products and operates Farm Fresh Convenience Stores in Southern Illinois.The college honored Kraft during an April awards banquet. The designation recognizes executives and entrepreneurs dedicated to business and the generation of economic benefit for Southern Illinois. Criteria for the award include leadership, innovation, prominence and concern for others.

Throughout his career at Chester Dairy, Kraft worked in all aspects of dairy manufacturing and convenience store operations. Since he became president in 1962, sales have increased more than 2,000 percent.

Kraft is a member of the Chester Chamber of Commerce and St. John Lutheran Church, and is a trustee for the Chester Public Library. He attended the University of Illinois for two years, studying dairy manufacturing and agricultural economics.