September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
How did you get into farming? John: I started out working for Andy Moeller, then formed a partnership with him in the early 1980s and then bought him out in 2013. I (John) was the oldest of 11 and was raised on a farm. Sandy started in dairy when we got married in 1988. Curt came here right out of high school.
What are your thoughts and concerns about the dairy industry for the next year? The low commodity prices. We are also concerned about the milk plants being full of milk. We have to get consumers to use more dairy products.
What is the latest technology you implemented on your farm and the purpose for it? We put in curtains, mats and new stalls to improve cow comfort.
What is a management practice you changed in the past year that has benefited you? We put in a concrete foot bath to cut down on hairy warts and lameness. We are also trying to put up higher quality forages by wrapping bales and using bags to try to increase consumption and getting more pounds of milk per cow.
How do you retain a good working relationship with your employee(s)? We don't have any employees, all three of us are full-time on the farm and we do the work ourselves.
Tell us about a skill you possess that makes dairy farming easier for you. John: I do a good job taking care of the calves. They are the future money makers for the farm. Sandy: I try to keep the boys in line. Curt: I'm good at mechanical stuff and can fix just about anything. It allows us to keep more money in the checkbook.
What do you enjoy most about dairy farming? John: I like being my own boss and doing things when you want, the way you want. Sandy: I like being with family and helping in any way I can. Curt: I like working with the machinery and crops.
What advice would you give other dairy farmers? Ride with the ups and downs; dairying is a good life. We were blessed to raise a family on the farm.
What has been the best purchase you've ever made on your farm? Buying the self-propelled chopper because we can put up the feed the way we want, when we want, and we can do it quickly.
What has been your biggest accomplishment while dairy farming? Raising our family on the farm has been a great blessing. We can work full time with our son and couldn't do it without him.
What are your plans for your dairy in the next year and five years? We'd like to upgrade some facilities with better technology. We'd like to put in a better parlor in the next couple years so we can relax more.
How do you or your family like to spend time when you are not doing chores? John and Sandy: In the winter, we try to travel to other countries every couple years. We also like to spend time with family and friends. Curt: I like spending time with friends and relaxing.
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