Farmer Focus

The Mitchell Family

Hometown: Windthorst, Texas

Capstone Farms is a fourth-generation dairy farm and member-owner of Dairy Farmers of America. Lindsay Mitchell currently milks 215 registered Holsteins with her father, Bob Steinberger Jr. The dairy is in Windthorst, Texas, a small dairy community just northwest of Dallas-Ft. Worth. Lindsay’s husband James takes care of the crop work, and farms on his own. They also have a cow/calf operation. They have two children, Jack, 3, and Baylor, 1.

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

I love that every day is a new day, as well as the challenges that each day brings. Being a caretaker for the animals and watching them develop into cows is exciting to me, and it’s a direct reflection of the effort I put into it through nutrition, comfort and management.

My least favorite part of dairy farming is probably the unpredictability of markets and weather.

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

I generally take care of the calves and heifers. My dad feeds and breeds. James does all the planting and spraying of crops. Dad and I work together daily on handling fresh cows, barn cleaning and anything else that comes our way. We also have a nutritionist that comes weekly, and we visit with him on feeding issues to make sure everything stays on track. We have one hired man who takes care of milking, and one of us milks on his day off.

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

I’m not sure right now, but it will probably stay close to the same. I plan on one day growing, but I want to appreciate what we have accomplished and not grow too fast. There will be an opportunity for James to step in if he chooses to do so later down the road.

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

I can sometimes be a little sarcastic. Since I live in a dairy community, everyone in town has ties to the industry, so when someone asks me, “How’s the dairy business?” my response is always: “Well, I’m living the dream.” They usually laugh because they don’t quite know how to respond to that. If you are in this profession, you understand the physical and mental struggles, and that is why people in agriculture are the hardest-working people I will ever know. I am proud to be one of them because I am living my dream.

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

That is hard to say because ever since I was 5 years old, this is all I have ever wanted to do. I’m sure I would be doing something directly involved with dairy cattle.

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