Farmer Focus

Christiansen Family

Hometown: Penn Yan, NY

Tim Christiansen is a farmer-member of Upstate Niagara, and Second Vice Chair of the 2020 Young Cooperators Advisory Council. Together with his dad, brother and cousin, he operates Townridge Farms LLC in Penn Yan, New York. The farm currently milks 150 Holsteins and farms 1200 acres.

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

I like producing a wholesome, safe, affordable product that helps feed families while being a good steward of our land and animals. I dislike the overreaching, overly-burdensome regulations that cost us a lot of money and take time away from us being on the farm. I also dislike being attacked by people who have no clue about our industry.

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

I farm with my father and my brother. Dad oversees the whole operation and is in the beginning phases of retirement. My brother Ryan is in charge of all of our equipment. I handle the management of the of the crops. Our cousin, Natalie Jensen, is in charge of the cows. We all chip in wherever we are needed.

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

We need to continue to become more efficient and drive down costs. Switching to robotics is in the plan, along with using available technologies to accelerate the genetic improvement of our herd. Additional diversification on the crop side of the farm may happen too, as markets continue to develop.

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

No matter how bad things get, we’ve always been able to work through challenging times and solve our problems in the past, so there’s no reason why we can’t today and in the future.

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

Probably something related to soil, fertilizer and seed.


What is your favorite dairy product? 2% milk and vanilla & chocolate twist ice cream

What is your favorite thing about being a dairy farmer? Knowing that we produce the most nutritious food out there while doing it in a responsible, sustainable manner. I like seeing how the whole system ties together on our farm: the land feeds the crops, the crops feed the cows, the cows feed us and their waste feeds the land.

What is your favorite dairy-related memory? They’re all good memories. I hope I can make the same memories with my daughter on the farm.

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