November 29, 2021 at 8:36 p.m.
New Lisbon, Wisconsin
Family: My mom is a professor at Purdue University in Indiana, and my sister is in medical school in Madison. They come and help me during the holidays.
Tell us about the farm. My farm is called Blue B Dairy, and I milk 120 Jerseys and Jersey crosses twice a day. There are 30 acres on the farm that I use for pasture, and I purchase my feed. I also purchase my replacements, so there are no youngstock on the farm. When I dry my cows off, they go to a dry cow farm and freshen there. They come back here a week fresh. It is very efficient by design because I am only one person, and labor can be challenging. I use activity monitors for the cows, and I breed my own cows.
What is the busiest time of day for you? Mornings are my busiest time. I start at 4:30 a.m. by pushing up feed and bringing cows in from pasture. Once I set up the parlor, a guy comes with the feed and starts milking. I scrape stalls and bed cows and finish milking. Then I feed cows and feed everyone else on the farm, too.
When you get a spare moment, what do you do? I like hiking. I have three dogs, so I try to do outdoor activities with them. In the summer, I like to go to the river.
Tell us about your most memorable experience working on the farm. Overall, it’s been an interesting time. I started in 2019. I started milking for the first time right before Christmas. On Christmas Day, I ended up in the hospital because I threw out my back and left my mom in charge who had never milked a cow before. Everything turned out fine, but it was memorable for my mom as well.
What have you enjoyed most about dairy farming or your tie to the dairy industry? I enjoy the cows. I like working with them every day. I get to set my own schedule for the most part and be active. It’s always challenging, which I like. I like being on the farm.
How do you stay connected with others in the industry? Just by doing business with the people I work with, like the vet and the nutritionist. I used to be a reproduction consultant and had to be traveling, and now I like to stay home and work with cows.
Who is someone in the industry who has inspired you? No one specific, but I admire farmers who are progressive and try to adapt to what we are doing now. It’s hard trying to be competitive as possible to stay relevant.
If you could give a tour of your farm to a prominent woman in today’s society, who would it be? People who are not exposed to agriculture and have a platform. I would eventually like to be able to promote dairy on social media more.
What is the best vacation you have ever taken? Before farming, when I graduated from college, my family and friends went to Dalton Island off the coast of Alabama. We rented a house and had amazing food and time with friends and family. We didn’t even have to leave the house. I like a good beach vacation.
What are some words you like to live by? On the farm, I like to say if you take care of the cows, the cows will take care of you. Focus on what you’re good at and learn what you’re not good at. Try to control what you can, and try not to worry about what you can’t control.
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