Dairy Profile: Nick Heinen

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Nick Heinen
Kimball, Minnesota
Stearns County
60 cows

How did you get into farming? My parents raised me on the farm. I started helping at a young age, and my interest in farming stayed with me over the years.
 
What are your thoughts and concerns about the dairy industry for the next year? My concern is how the prices of everything will affect the bottom line for my farm.

What is a recent change you made on your farm and the reason for it? We have recently added automatic takeoffs. It makes it better for the cow and human.

Tell us about a skill you possess that makes dairy farming easier for you. Welding is a skill of mine. It’s something I enjoy doing and is very helpful at times when something needs repairing or fabrication.  

What is the best decision you have made on your farm? Getting married to my wife.

What are three things on the farm that you cannot live without? The good ole 5-gallon feed pail, rubber overshoes and machinery to get the job done.

What strategies do you use to withstand the volatile milk prices? I try to manage inputs wisely.

How do you maintain family relationships while also working together? I work to try to understand others’ point of view.

What do you enjoy most about dairy farming? I enjoy being able to produce a great product for a bunch of people who probably don’t know the work involved in the product they are consuming.   

What advice would you give other dairy farmers? Bigger isn’t always better.  

What are your plans for your dairy in the next year and five years? Keep on keeping on.

How do you or your family like to spend time when you are not doing chores? I like to do some of my hobbies like fishing and hunting, or I like to simply just get away for an afternoon.

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