Farmer Focus

Tuleview Holsteins
Corinne, Utah

For a community-minded, family-oriented dairy farmer like Brian Hardy, the titles could quickly overrun a business card. Farm owner, board member, chairman and past president would all be accurate. So is partner, father, and – on the rare occasion when something goes wrong – general manager.

But despite his many roles and responsibilities, Hardy prefers just one:


“I dairy with three brothers,” Hardy says. “That is the way our operation has worked and continues to work today.”

Hardy’s role as a third-generation dairy farmer looks much different than his grandfather’s. The eldest of four brothers and three sisters says the secret to keeping the Tuleview Holsteins family farm in Corinne, Utah operating for almost 70 years is working together and respecting that the family’s relationship goes far beyond the hours spent on the dairy.

“My oldest son dairies with me, and I appreciate that relationship,” says Hardy, 64. But even those who are no longer actively farming are still involved with the community – one of his daughters is a teacher, navigating a unique school year. One of his sons works as a John Deere technician. “Our kids are all close to us and have ties to agriculture in one way or the other. The dairy business has been great to us.”

Hardy and his brothers – Jeff, Chad, and Chris – use all the tools available to them to run their business in the most effective way possible.

Jeff Hardy, 62, is a key partner as the head of the crop-farming side of the operation – Tuleview grows alfalfa, corn, and wheat. While their day-to-day tasks are complementary, the approaches are very different, Jeff says.

“Brian is very organized, and I am more fly-by-the seat of my pants,” Jeff says. “So much so that when we were younger, Brian had a system where he would get my best friend and I to do his chores in exchange for rides to school! He always has a plan of attack to get things done.”

Jeff says that working with his older brother for 40 years hasn’t always been easy – but the ability to share responsibilities gives them the time to let of steam.

Snowmobiling and off-roading keep them sane. Milking and planting keep them in business.

Brian has served with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) for the last 20 years, first as a chairman of the Mountain Area Council and currently as the DFA Board of Directors vice chairman. The information DFA provides is invaluable, he said.

Hardy’s title often shifts to communicator and educator to ensure Tuleview’s employees are trained and their animals are well-cared for, in keeping with dairy’s best practices. Hardy says it’s extremely important for the milkers, calf feeders, and cow handlers to stay safe, informed, and up-to-date on care standards for all elements on the dairy.

Tuleview is both a National Dairy FARM program participant and a DFA Gold Standard recipient. Hardy works with the state of Utah on waste management and sustainability by, among other measures, implementing lagoons, separation cells, and composting facilities. Through a partnership with the USDA National Resources Conservation Service on water quality, Hardy adds the title of conservationist to his ever-growing roles as a steward both of the environment, and of his family’s legacy.

Hardy credits strong communication and transparency to the family farm’s success in the past – and to helping them staying grounded during the uncertain present.

“We looked towards 2020 concerned as an operation that we were going to have a struggle financially,” Hardy says. “My brothers and I began the year communicating really closely with our vendors, and there’s no question that they appreciated the transparency. We try to do that even in good years.”

Hardy says their operation has managed 2020’s volatility in part through its participation in risk management programs, including the Dairy Margin Coverage Program and Dairy Revenue Protection. Programs geared toward disaster assistance, such as the Paycheck Protection Program have further helped Tuleview navigate the pandemic.

Hardy says COVID-19 has helped more people realize the importance of milk, cheese, and butter as essential foods for family diets. He said he is also pleased that more people are realizing the science behind dairy nutrition is real and getting better all the time.

The crisis “has created some opportunity for dairy,” Hardy says. “I think people have come back to the breakfast table for one thing. As a family, they found themselves sitting down in the morning for milk and cereal.”

Dairy creates opportunities for consumers to be nourished – and that rediscovery offers an occasion that can help dairy families thrive and continue working together for the next generation, he said. Farmers’ animals, employees and the environment are all crucial to successful dairying. For the Hardys, a farmer’s community, family – and of course, his brothers – might be most crucial of all.

“The dairy is a wonderful place to raise a family,” Hardy says. “I grew up in the industry and I feel that my family and I can enjoy it going forward. It’s been a wonderful life.”

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