September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
Barron, Wis.; Barron County
How did you get into dairy farming? I grew up on a hobby farm and started milking eight cows on that farm when I was 15. I did that through high school and then I went to a farm management course at Rice Lake for a year and to a dairy herd management course in New Richmond. While I did that I leased the cows to a couple different farmers. Then I started farming at my grandpa's farm. He had been out of dairy for 10 years so I had to put the milking equipment and barn cleaner back in. I started milking out of college in the spring of 1985.
What is your 5-year plan for the dairy? Stay where I'm at with cow numbers, but continue to try improving the herd genetically. We have a registered herd with the Sandair prefix.
Who is the most prominent cow that came from your herd? Sandair Eagle June, her dam was here until she was over 12 years old. The family comes back to the original two heifer calves that I bought in 1979, Green Notch Ormsby Jolene and Green Notch Ormsby Joey.
What is the most challenging aspect of dairying for you? The economic part of it: just trying to get the fertilizer, feed, insemination bills paid and live within your means and still improve.
What is your favorite thing to do on the farm? Working with the cattle - whether it's feeding, breeding, picking sires or working with newborn calves - I enjoy it all.
What is your favorite piece of equipment? The skidsteer.
What is your favorite dairy product? Chocolate chip ice cream.
What do you and your family like to do when you are not doing chores? We used to go to a lot of high school sporting events because our kids were active in wrestling, basketball and football. Now during the summer we like to go to dairy shows.
If you could have a celebrity do chores with you for one day, who would it be and why? Adrian Peterson, because he's obviously dedicated to doing his best all the time. That's what I'm trying to do here. My kids were raised that way as well.
What's unique about your farm? It's been in the family for over 100 years. My great grandpa built the barn that I milk in. It's been added on to twice and still has the old original rock walls.
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