February 26, 2022 at 1:24 a.m.
La Crosse County
Tell us about your farm. Our farm was established in 2010 when two non-related families partnered. My husband and I manage the farm operations of dairy, beef and supporting cropland. The main operation is a registered Holstein dairy with a double-10 parlor and sand-bedded free stalls.
What is a typical day like for you on the dairy? I get the kids on the bus at 6:50 a.m., then find out which farm chores need to be finished. I check emails, pull customer orders and check in at the township for mail and projects. I feed the beef steers and cows with my favorite farmer. Then, I grab the kids from school by 3:10 p.m., have afternoon calf chores at 4 p.m., then dinner, homework and last-minute things.
What decision have you made in the last year that has benefited your farm? We have diversified without expanding. We launched an online farm store where we direct market 21-day, dry-aged Angus beef, Duroc pork and also offer Wisconsin dairy products. We ship nationwide on Tuesdays, deliver locally on Wednesdays and offer on-farm pickup by appointment. Summed up, it’s a website and a freezer.
Tell us about your most memorable experience working on the farm. It’s memorable but not beautiful. Chasing black cows in the dark with my husband.
What have you enjoyed most about dairy farming or your tie to the dairy industry? I love to hear from our customers. In dairy, we see the tanker go down the road but not how our farm’s milk that’s made into butter may impact someone’s life. With the farm store, I hear back about how our meat made a memorable family meal, and it’s incredibly rewarding.
What is your biggest accomplishment in your dairy career? Hosting more than 4,000 folks for breakfast in 2019. It’s hard to explain, but it was the breakfast that was almost canceled. We had hosted the prior year as well, so we weren’t thinking it would be back, but we couldn’t let it go. With the support of the community in a small town, it was bigger and better than ever.
What are things you do to promote your farm or the dairy industry? We have participated in the national checkoff program Adopt A Cow where classrooms all over can adopt one of our heifer calves, and we send updates through the school year and then give a virtual farm tour. I’m also active in our local dairy promotion group and find myself pushing product almost everywhere I go.
What advice would you give another woman in the dairy industry? Follow your dreams, and don’t take no for an answer.
When you get a spare moment, what do you do? I volunteer at church and school and am the elected clerk for our township. If there was a day that I could do whatever I wanted (without consequences), I’d go junking for old church cookbooks and find good coffee.
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