September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
Caledonia, Minn.; Houston County
How did you get into dairy farming? I (Jonathan) grew up on my family's farm. I am the fourth generation. I left for eight years to go to college and take on other jobs before returning in 2011. Liz grew up with some agriculture background, but not on a farm.
What do you see for the future of your farm? Right now, we milk our cows in a tiestall barn. Within the next few years, we would like to put in robots or a parlor and we will probably expand our numbers We will also be working on transitioning the farm from the previous generation to us.
What is your favorite thing to do on the farm? I like cutting hay and running the skidloader.
What do you enjoy most about dairy farming? I like the flexibility to do what I want and the variety of jobs. There are many different jobs to try out - you have to be an electrician, plumber, carpenter and veterinarian, among many others. I also like that I am close to my family. Liz and Chloe can ride in the tractor with me or come out to visit me in the barn. I can also stop into the house for lunch or when I have a break. I couldn't do that all the time if I worked in an office.
What is the most challenging aspect of dairy farming? When things break down or don't go the way I planned them.
What is your favorite tool? I like the skidloader, and also the vice grip. I can use them for many jobs.
What is your favorite dairy product? I like all dairy products, but I really like cheese. Lately, I've been experimenting and making my own mozzarella.
If you could have a celebrity do chores with you for one day, who would it be and why? Mike Rowe from the TV show, Dirty Jobs. It would be great if we could be on TV.
What do you and your family like to do when not doing chores? Liz and I are volunteer youth leaders for our church. We also like to play games with friends. Our current favorites are Dominion and Ticket to Ride. I am taking flight lessons so I'm beginning to learn how to fly. Liz and I also like traveling together. We spent 2.5 months in Thailand on a mission trip teaching English.
Tell us about your farm. We farm with my dad and mom, Will and Carol. My sisters, Sarah and Mary, help with milking. Another sister, Grace, helps feed the calves along with Jeana, another sister who helps out when needed. We farm 250 acres.
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