Women in Dairy: Annie Vannurden

Annie Vannurden
Royalton, Minnesota
Morrison County

Family: Husband, Eric; children, Dakota and Carter, 2 months

Tell us about your farm. I am the general manager of Silverstreak Dairies LLC. We have three Minnesota sites and one site in South Dakota. Our farm’s motto is PACE – People, Animals, Community and Environment. At our farms, we specialize in different areas of animal care at each site. Our Silverstreak site is the mother farm where we calve in all our dry cows and focus on giving them a smooth transition back into the lactating herd. Bluestreak is home to all our older cows who pump out the milk and are bred to beef. The Greenstreak site receives second- and third-lactation cows. Warner Dairy in South Dakota cares for all the fresh heifers from Lakin Feedyard in Kansas.

What is a typical day like for you on the dairy? I work mostly with cow health protocols, training and retraining employees, monitoring employee and farm performances, as well as working closely with our site managers to achieve our goals of milk production, reproduction and general farm repairs. I spend most of my time at the Silverstreak and Bluestreak locations as I am the site manager for those two and spend three to four days a month at Greenstreak and Warner.

What decision have you made in the last year that has benefited your farm? In the last year, I have started to be more involved in contracting commodities for the sites and understanding where our margins lie. In the past year, watching the markets and understanding where our margins are at each farm has helped me secure commodities at competitive price points. We have a team of people who help me figure out what we need and how we are going to feed certain protein sources and during what times of the year.

Tell us about your most memorable experience working on the farm. Meeting my husband at Silverstreak the first summer I was working there in 2017. He came to purchase Holstein bull calves for his family’s steer operation.

What have you enjoyed most about dairy farming or your tie to the dairy industry? What I enjoy most is building employees up from the ground level and seeing them take on the day’s work with confidence and a positive mindset.  

What is your biggest accomplishment in your dairy career? Getting back the milk we lost after rBST. I am also very pleased with how our dairy farms are performing reproduction wise.

What are things you do to promote your farm or the dairy industry? I try to promote the dairy industry daily by showing up for the day’s work so in turn our communities have dairy products available to purchase. I also focus on making our farms an enjoyable and safe place to work. In turn, my team benefits and takes pride in our industry too.

What advice would you give another woman in the dairy industry? The advice I would give is keep it simple and consistent on the farm. Women make great herdsmen, managers and leaders on the farm because we care. Don’t lose site of what women do best, caring for animals and caring for your employees.  If that is done and things are consistent day to day, feed intake will increase, cows will be comfortable and milk production will follow.

When you get a spare moment, what do you do? Spend time with my 2-month-old twins, Dakota and Carter. My husband and I also like to go fishing, cheer on the Vikings and farm together at our home in Royalton.


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