September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
Family: My husband, Joe. We farm with his parents, Janet and Steve.
Tell us about your farm: We farm 600 acres where we grow alfalfa, corn, beans and wheat. Holle-Oaks Holsteins is our dairy where we milk 120 cows in a 94-cow tiestall. We have a pack for switch cows and a dry cow barn. We have 140 heifers housed in a cornstalk pack barn and on pasture. In 2014 we installed a heat detection/rumination system for the cows and heifers. This has significantly helped herd health and preg rate.
What's the busiest time of day for you? Mornings - my husband and I milk together every morning. Then I feed calves (about 25 in hutches) followed by herd health tasks. In total my morning is about five hours of just chores starting at 4 a.m.
How much time do you spend doing farm work and how much time do you spend doing housework? I spend about 16 hours per day doing farm work. I actually employ a cleaning lady, who is a good friend of mine. She cleans my house twice a month so I don't have much house work outside of laundry. However I do have a large garden of broccoli, beans, zucchini, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, cucumbers and spices that requires a lot of work in the spring, summer and fall.
What do you do in your free time and why? I like to dairy judge. I work with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls judging team as an assistant coach. It is such a good time to be around people who are just as passionate about good dairy cattle as I am. I also like to garden. It is relaxing to me and helps me unwind. I like the feeling when I make a home cooked meal knowing I grew all the ingredients. That is such an accomplished feeling.
What's the best thing about farming? The feeling of accomplishment. It is very rewarding when all the hard work pays off, whether it is making the right conditions for a great crop or the right mating to create an excellent cow. It's even the little daily battles of nursing a sick animal and having her look 100 times better after checking on her a few hours later.
When you look back on your life, what do you want to be remembered for? Dedication, loyalty and work ethic.
Do you have any ideas that could make life easier for you and other farming women? Don't forget to take time for yourself. I try very hard to take a day off and do something I like.
Tell us your most memorable experience while dairy farming. I honestly cannot pick just one memory. Every day is an adventure, whether it is good or bad. I just try to enjoy it.
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