Tell us about your farm. My husband, Jim, and I have four adult children: Justin, Jordan, Erin and Emily. We purchased this farm from Jim’s family 22 years ago, after Jim’s parents passed away. We’re the second generation of our family to dairy farm here. Justin works on the farm full time. A good number of our cows are Red and White Holsteins.
What is a typical day like for you on the dairy? I start milking at 6:30 a.m. and feed the calves while the guys finish milking. Every day is different, depending on what’s going on regarding fieldwork or if we have some new calves being born.
What decision have you made in the last year that has benefited your farm? This past summer, we started giving our dry cows Bovikalc boluses. It has helped reduce milk fever, metritis and ketosis. It also helps the cows come back into milk quicker.
Tell us about your most memorable experience working on the farm. Our kids always showed cattle, and that was very enjoyable. Our grandkids began to carry forward our family’s tradition of showing cattle eight years ago. Erin and her husband, Tim Nagler, live in Benson, Minnesota, and have three kids who show our cattle. Emily, who lives in Harrold, South Dakota, has shown some of our cattle at World Dairy Expo.
What have you enjoyed most about dairy farming or your tie to the dairy industry? I have enjoyed being a producer of quality milk. I also enjoy working with the cattle and developing cow families. We are currently milking three daughters from one of our best cows.
What is your biggest accomplishment in your dairy career? We have received a lot of milk quality awards. Last year, we received an award from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for consistently having a somatic cell count of less than 100,000. Associated Milk Producers Inc. has given us a milk quality award every year for the past 15 years. Our average SCC last year was 77,000.
What are things you do to promote your farm or the dairy industry? I like to sell AMPI butter whenever I can. All of our neighbors know about it and come over to our farm to buy butter.
What advice would you give another woman in the dairy industry? The more that you learn to do, the more is expected of you. I learned that too late.
When you get a spare moment, what do you do? I like to be with our grandkids. We have two grandkids who live nearby, and I like to sneak over to their place and spend time with them.