September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
How many producers do you test for? I test 15 supervised, 17 owner samples and 11 profit tests. I test a total of 43 farmers.
What is your typical schedule? I normally try to test my supervised herds on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. I deliver my owner samplers on Fridays and pick up on Mondays.
How do you adjust to the irregular hours? I enjoy mornings since I am an early riser. The earliest I have gotten up is at 3 a.m. It varies from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m.
When and what do you eat for breakfast? Usually the first gas station I go to, I buy donuts and a Coke. It's not very healthy, but it is delicious.
What do you like about being a DHIA tester? What do you dislike? I like visiting with farmers, which helps me keep in touch with the dairy industry. I dislike testing at night, so I do very few of those. I would rather be home grilling and sitting on the deck.
What has been the biggest herd you've tested and how long did it take? What is the smallest herd you have tested? The largest herd was 180 cows in a parlor. It took me five hours by the time I got cleaned up. The smallest herd was 10 cows.
How has DHIA testing changed in your years of experience? When I first started, we did evening and mornings and everything was done on paper. It then changed to AM/PM and I could do two farms in a day instead of one farm. Ten years ago, we went to computers. At that time, I was dreading it, but I have become used to the computer and enjoy it more.
What has been your best testing vehicle? What has been the most mileage you have gotten out of a testing vehicle? My best testing vehicle is one that gets me there and home. When I was working for NFO, I was told never to go on a farm with a better vehicle than the farmer has because they will think I get paid too much. Now I drive a 1996 Ford Taurus with 228,000 miles on it.
What is the craziest experience you've had while testing? It was when I was on a farm and a storm came up and actually blew doors off the barn. The power went out, and we were half done testing. But that was it for the night.
Tell us about a unique aspect of being a DHIA tester that most people don't know about. You are self employed since you are setting your own schedule for testing milk. If you need time off, you can work with farmers as most are very understanding. I don't have to punch a clock, so I am free to work at my own pace as long as everyone gets tested for the month.
What do you like to do in your spare time? During the summertime, my wife and I enjoy working in the yard and garden. We have a lot of flowers. We also enjoy canning. In the wintertime, we shovel and blow snow.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know. I am 73 years old. My wife, Evelyn, and I will be married for 54 years on March 7, 2014. We have three sons and a daughter. We are blessed with eight grandchildren, the loves of our lives. Our grandchildren have taken us to state tournaments seven times, twice with football, twice with basketball and three times with softball. They brought home three gold and four silver medals. Our granddaughter just signed with Indiana State to play softball in 2014. We are very proud of all our grandchildren. Next year, we plan to meet our friends in southern Illinois, a trip to South Dakota and out west. People keep asking when I plan to retire, but I plan to retire when seven men go to the cemetery and six come back.