What do you like the most – and the least – about working as a dairy farmer?
The variety of tasks that one needs to engage in on a daily basis to operate a dairy farm is what I enjoy most. The thing I enjoy least is maintaining all the machinery and equipment required to operate the farm.
Describe how the work on the farm is shared or divided up in your family?
I serve as the CEO, as well as primary herdperson, head milker and general repairman.
My wife, Linda, is the CFO which includes being our tax preparer. She is also the lead person in caring for all non-milking animals not on pasture, including the calves. She also serves as milker and grounds care person.
Our daughter, Abbie, is the primary manure management person and handles soil sampling. She does much of the crop harvesting work and is responsible for raising the 7th generation of our family – her sons, Eli and Niko, to live and work here.
How do you think your farm’s business plan will change 10 years from now?
The plan, as the farm transitions to Abbie, is to milk less cows and diversify somewhat, possibly by raising some beef for on farm sales, as well as keeping bees for honey production.
During those days when things aren’t going well, what do you do to keep a positive attitude?
I remind myself that those days are seldom and I need to buckle down, deal with the issue(s) of the day and look forward to the coming days when I can be doing the things I love about dairy farming.
What would you be doing if you were not a dairy farmer?
I think I would be somehow involved in healthcare, some other facet of agriculture or in forestry. Healthcare because I enjoy helping others, agriculture or forestry because I enjoy being outside working with nature.