August 12, 2023 at 8:00 a.m.
Women in Dairy
Tell us about your farm and family. My husband John and I have three sons, Hunter, Peyton and Tanner. We milk about 50 Ayrshires, Holsteins and Milking Shorthorns. We farm with my husband’s parents and farm about 350 acres, growing corn, oats and alfalfa hay. Our kids also enjoy having ducks, chickens, rabbits and goats.
What is a typical day like for you on the dairy? A typical day starts out doing morning chores, and then I go to work at ProVision Partners Cooperative. Then I come home, and we do the evening chores. The evenings are typically filled with activities for our boys.
What decision have you made in the last year that has benefited your farm? We have not made a lot of big changes recently, but we are always focusing on bettering the genetics of our herd and taking the best care of our cattle that we can. We have started giving calcium boluses to help prevent instances of milk fever. I have switched my newborn protocols to administering a microbial paste, Multimin and dipping navels. Since switching to the microbial paste, I have had virtually no scours. A couple of years ago, we had to switch vets, and our new vet can reliably ultrasound pregnancies for sex. That has made it easier to plan and be prepared.
Tell us about your most memorable experience working on the farm. I would say it is being able to save a cow or calf who is sick. Last summer, a family favorite show cow went down after calving. We had to float her, and it was stressful for a while. But eventually she got back up and continues to be doing well today. When you put everything you have into helping them, it is rewarding when it works. Other than that, I would have to say things like watching the kids do well showing and classifying and the satisfaction of breeding Excellent cows.
What have you enjoyed most about dairy farming or your tie to the dairy industry? I enjoy watching a calf grow into a cow and seeing what she can become and how she develops.
What is your biggest accomplishment in your dairy career? Some of the awards we have received through the Ayrshire association have been rewarding. We had the cow of the year a couple of years ago and received the state association’s young breeder award. I would also say being able to raise our family on the farm, enjoying the animals and doing well with them is very rewarding.
What are things you do to promote your farm or the dairy industry? We show our cattle at a variety of local, state and national shows. We also enjoy sharing our story with people who are interested and answering their questions the best we can.
What advice would you give another woman in the dairy industry? Times are tough right now with milk prices and input costs. You need to keep your head high and keep going. Stay focused on the things that are important and try not to let yourself get weighed down by the negatives.
What is a challenge in the dairy industry you have faced and how did you overcome it? Dealing with the low milk prices is a big challenge. We try to cut costs where we can but in ways that it doesn’t affect the cows. Being a small farm, we try to keep things as simple as possible and do as much as we can ourselves.
When you get a spare moment, what do you do? Spare moments are rare, but when there is a little free time, we try to do things as a family. John and I enjoy bowling and being able to socialize with our friends.
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