September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
Belgrade, Minn.; Kandiyohi County
How did you get into dairy farming? I ended up coming back to the family's dairy farm after I finished with college. I really enjoyed the cows and I loved being around the wildlife.
What advice would you give other dairy farmers? You have to love what you are doing so you can do a good job. If you don't, you won't be doing your best work.
What is your favorite tool to use? My pocketknife. I can use it for many different things every day. I would be lost without it.
What is your favorite thing to do on the farm? When it is not as cold as this winter has been, I really enjoy a nice winter day the most. It is a really quiet routine and I'm not working as many hours as I would be in the summer doing fieldwork, too. Although this winter has been more challenging, because it takes longer to do things with the extreme cold.
What has been the best purchase you've ever made on your farm? The Case IH Mx 140 tractor we bought last fall. The suspension cab is wonderful for my back. It is also really useful for grinding feed in the winter because I can jump in the hot cab when it is cold.
What do you or your family like to spend time doing when you are not doing chores? We are really big into flower and vegetable gardening. It is a huge hobby for us. The big flowerbed in front of the house has been there since I was nine. There are some other flowerbeds around the house and one big vegetable garden. Even spending 15 minutes in the summer doing this is a huge stress reliever for me.
Looking back, if you could change one thing that you did on your farm, what would it be and why? Ten years ago, we quit growing our own alfalfa and started buying it. It was tough trying to meet the timing deadlines with the hay. I wish we would have started doing that sooner. It's not ideal to buy it, but in the summer, it is a huge time and stress reliever.
If you could have a celebrity help you with chores for a day, who would it be and why? I would have Blake Shelton come out. I could give him some lyrics I have written while feeding calves.
What is your favorite dairy product? I love any type of ice cream. It is my before bed snack.
What has been your biggest accomplishment while dairy farming? How did you achieve this? Overall, we have improved our overall type traits in our herd. Over time we have started to use better bulls with good udder and strength traits. For my set up, the cows that work the best have good udders, decent feet and legs, moderate stature and good strength.
Tell us about your farm. I milk 58 cows in a stanchion barn with my wife, Jane, and our daughters, Kaia (15) and Elise (12). I am also in partnership with my brother and there are beef cows on his farm. We grow corn, soybeans and oats.[[In-content Ad]]