The Wedemeyer Family

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Karl Wedemeyer is a member of the 2017 Young Cooperator Advisory Council. He and his family are members of Dairy Farmers of America and own White Diamond Farm in LaRue, Ohio. They currently milk about 170 jersey cows, raise about 140 heifers and farm about 80 acres.

What do you like the most – and the least – about working as a dairy farmer?

What I like the most about working as a dairy farmer is that I get to wake up and work with my family every day. We face all the challenges of the farm together and problem-solve any issues as a team. It’s great having my family on the farm all pulling for the same goal. What I like the least about dairy farming is the current low milk prices. Anytime the milk price is higher is always better for us as dairymen. 

Describe how the work on the farm is shared or divided up in your family?

My farm really is a family-run dairy. Between my parents, my brother and I, we each have our strengths and focuses. My brother and I do all the cow work, including the milking. We handle all health issues and treatments for the cows and heifers.  My brother also does all the breeding while I do all the record-keeping for the herd.  My dad handles feeding the cows and heifers every day and my mom bottle-feeds the calves.  My mom and I handle the financial end of things together.  I am also the overall general manager and manage everything business-oriented with the farm.

How do you think your farm’s business plan will change 10 years from now?

I don’t think our business plan is going to change over the next 10 years. Our goal is to continue to grow so that we can stay relevant in the industry while also providing a good living for everyone in our family. We are always looking at the newest technology to use on our farm to help us stay competitive.

During those days when things aren’t going well, what do you do to keep a positive attitude?

I try to take a step back and realize that while things may not be going well at this moment or this day, that this industry has given me a tremendous amount of value in my life. I think about how everything I have is because of cows and how the opportunities I’ve had to be involved in this industry are all because of cows. Then I just keep moving forward and try to take the best care I can of the cows, knowing things will get better tomorrow.

What would you be doing if you were not a dairy farmer?

If I weren’t a dairy farmer, I’m not sure what I would be doing. I’ve wanted to be a farmer since I was in third grade and have followed that path without considering doing anything else. If I had to choose, I would maybe give snorkeling lessons in Florida because I like the beach.