September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
Dairy Profile: Mike and Dave Carlson
Welch, Minn. (Goodhue County) 70 milking cows
How did you get into farming? We got into farming through our parents. Dairying runs in the family. In 1984 we bought the cows and started leasing the farm and the machinery, which we then bought in the mid 1990s.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced since you started dairying and how did you overcome it? In 1987 we built an addition to our barn and the next year we went through a drought. The two combined plus the tough prices at the time made a stressful financial situation. Luckily we had a good banker who was willing to work with us. We learned not to get too far into debt. Now we try to pay as we go.
What advice would you give other dairy farmers? Get more milk out of the cows you have instead of going bigger.
What is the best investment you ever made in your dairy? Putting bigger fans in our barn for better ventilation. We also really like having our skidloader.
What has been your biggest accomplishment while dairy farming? We've bred our cows for more production and good udders. We like trying to breed for Excellent cows.
What is your favorite thing to do on the farm? Haying if the weather is good and milking when the udders are good.
What is your favorite dairy product? Mike: I like milk. Dave: Ice cream is my favorite.
What is your favorite tool? Ratchet wrenches, pliers and the cordless drill.
What are your plans for the dairy in the next five years? We plan to add on to the barn so we don't have to switch cows. We'll keep the same number of cows, but try to get more milk per cow.
Tell us about a skill you possess that has made dairy farming easier for you. Knowing when a cow is sick and when to treat her.
If you won a trip to travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Alaska for the scenery and the fishing.
Would you rather do chores for a month in -20 degree weather or 90 degrees with high humidity? We would pick the 90-degree weather because there is less trouble with frozen pipes or anything else freezing.
What do you like to do in your free time? We like going to fairs and showing cattle.[[In-content Ad]]