Farmer Focus

KC Farms
Russell Springs, Kentucky

In the lush green sprawl of Kentucky, 90 grazing Jersey cows stand out from the horses that more commonly dot the hillsides. At KC Farms in Russell Springs, father-daughter duo Dante and Elise Carpenter’s business revolves around keeping those cows in good health and maintaining the fourth-generation operation.

“We are utilizing what we have and only spending where it is needed,” Dante, 59 says. “We are taking care of the cattle well, feeding them well, and trying to keep everything up to date and in good repair.”

The Carpenters keep it simple. Through a tumultuous year and unpredictable markets, Dante says staying positive and relying on the farm’s built-in diversification is key to its staying power. Along with their milking business, they plant 1,100 acres and run an Angus cow-calf operation with close to 500 head. That may sound like a lot, but Dante says that he and Elise know their limits and make the most of what they have.

They are also making the most of the support provided by their co-op, Prairie Farms. Dante is on the Board of Directors and says he is grateful they have a good market for their milk.

“When you see the effects of COVID all across the US, everyone doesn’t have the same support we do, and we are very lucky,” Dante says. “If you produce it, you have to have a market for it. On the dairy side, Prairie Farms has been great for us.”

Elise, 20, is in her second year at Wilmington College in Wilmington, OH. She plays basketball for the university and is pursuing an agribusiness degree which will be put to good use running a dairy.

“In Wilmington, a lot of my classmates are more agronomy-based being from Ohio, but it is neat to see how different farming styles all blend together,” Elise says. “We are all there to learn more to bring back home.”

Elise also brings some of what she has learned at home, back to her team at school.

“Working on the farm taught me discipline and hard work every single day, and you bring that when you step on the basketball court,” Elise says. “That’s bred into us ag kids that play sports because we have always had responsibilities from a very young age, and on a team, you have had those same responsibilities.”

Even though Elise will be in school for a few more years, the Carpenters have plans to keep the farm going just as it is for even longer with good milk, healthy cows, and success through simplicity.



Prairie Farms

FARM Program Participant?

Yes, since 2012

How many dairy cows?


What kind?


What is your favorite dairy product?

Chocolate Milk

What is your favorite thing about being a dairy farmer?

The “thank you’s” from consumers who love the products that are sourced with milk from my farm.

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