September 24, 2021 at 6:20 p.m.
Family: My husband, Daran, is a full time K-9 deputy and farms when he has time. Our older son, Derek, farms with us along with his wife, Layla, and our two grandaughters, Brooke, 2.5 years old, and Maryn, 8 months. Our younger son, Dustin, works in Florida for a large solar company.
Tell us about your farm. We farm 450 acres and grow corn, alfalfa, wheat and soybeans. We started our farm in 2002 with 10 cows. We now have a 150-cow freestall barn and milk in a double-4 herringbone parlor. We also raise all our youngstock. Derek is in the process of eventually owning the farm.
What’s the busiest time of day for you? Mornings are probably the busiest time. It really depends on what we have going on for the day.
When you get a spare moment what do you do? I enjoy my time with my granddaughters and also building on our future lake house. I also like to waste time searching Zillow, LakePlace and other real estate sites to take virtual tours of homes and properties I will never own.
Tell us about your most memorable experience working on the farm. A few years after we started milking, my husband happened to be milking with me one morning. Out of nowhere, a cow kicked me in the head and I fell down unconscious in the parlor. A good friend who also milks cows came and brought me to the ER so my husband could finish milking. I ended up with stitches under my eye and having surgery as I fractured my orbital floor.
What have you enjoyed most about dairy farming or your tie to the dairy industry? I love that I can make my own schedule. It is always great to have the nieces, nephews and the neighbor kids come to the farm to work and play, especially when they were little. Now, it’s great having the grandkids around the farm to play and learn. I also enjoy cutting hay and taking care of the cows when they calve.
How do you stay connected with others in the industry? The Internet, social media, neighbors and Dairy Star.
Who is someone in the industry who has inspired you? My previous employer, Dale and Marcy Janson of Meadowlark Dairy. I started my milking career with them in 1992; I never milked a cow until then. I ended up working there for about 11 years. They taught me everything about farming, milking cows and cow health, and Marcy was the best calf raiser to learn from. They sold me my first 10 milk cows and let me milk them at their farm until we had our barn and parlor ready to start our own farm.
If you could give a tour of your farm to a prominent woman in today’s society, who would it be and why? Ree Drummond. She probably wouldn’t be scared to get her hands dirty, and I would hope she would cook some fabulous meals for us.
What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken? I love the outdoors. I have been to Mackinac Island three times, and I hope to make more trips there. The smell of all the flowers and lilacs on the island is wonderful, the water is calming and there are no vehicles on the island, only bicycles and horses. Everyone is happy and not in a rush, just relaxed. The food and fudge are great as well.
What are some words you like to live by? Nothing in life is fair and everything happens for a reason. Some days I have to remind myself several times of this.
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