September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
Plainview, Minn.; Wabasha County
How did you get into farming? I've been farming all my life. This is the farm where I grew up. I graduated from high school in 1991 and began farming full-time with my dad, Roland, after that. I took over in 2012 when Dad retired.
What do you enjoy most about dairy farming? I like that I have the freedom to do what I want when I want. Yes, there are things that need to be done everyday, but if I want to take an afternoon off, I can.
What advice would you give other people who want to get started in the dairy industry? It depends on everyone's situation, but look ahead to see what the future milk prices will be before getting into it. You need to have a plan and getting into dairy farming is hard to do, especially if milk prices are low. I was suppose to take over for my dad in 2009, but because of the low milk price, we waited until 2012.
What has been the best purchase you've ever made on your farm? A skidloader. It saves a lot of time and work.
What has been your biggest accomplishment while dairy farming? Keeping everything going. We focus on one project at a time.
What are your plans for your dairy in the next five years? To keep going and get things paid off. Right now, I own the cows and machinery, and I rent the farm and land from my dad. Within the next five years, I hope to buy the land and farm. I would also like to improve the herd's production. Right now, we are at 74 pounds per cow, per day. We've dropped a few pounds within the last year because of the corn silage and the lack of haylage, but this year's harvest looks promising. Hopefully we can get back on track.
What is your favorite thing to do on the farm? I like feeding the cows. I get to be outside and moving around. With this job, I am able to see everything that's going on at the farm. I can't do that if I'm stuck in the parlor.
What is your favorite dairy product? I like chocolate milk and vanilla ice cream with caramel topping.
What is your favorite tool? My cordless tools are nice. I have the whole set. I don't have to find an outlet or drag cords around.
How do you or your family like to spend time when you are not doing chores? We like preparing and going to the fair. Right now, we spend a lot of time training our cows. We also like to play cards.
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