Women in Dairy: Jody Miller

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Jody Miller
Avoca, Wisconsin
Iowa County
250 cows

Family: My husband, Dan, and I own the farm. Scott, Dan’s brother, and Derek, Dan’s son, work here full time. We have other family who work here as well, and my daughter, Cassie, owns eight cows here.

Tell us about your farm. We run 600 acres and milk three times a day. We are all dairy, and we raise our replacements. Dan is the third generation on this farm. On my side, I am also the third generation to farm. What is a typical day like for you on the dairy? There is no typical day. We start milking at 4:30 a.m. After that, we breed, sort, herd check or hoof trim. Now fieldwork is starting, which I love. I always help with chopping. I also watch my granddaughter, Breklyn, a few days a week. I do a lot of the herd health work as well.

What decision have you made in the last year that has benefited your farm? We have recently installed the SCR ear tags. We were having trouble getting cows bred because we were not catching them in heat. We installed the ear tags in February, and we are updating our parlor to connect with the tags. They track rumination, heat and activity, and general health. We did this as an effort to be more efficient. Our last herd health was awesome.

Tell us about your most memorable experience working on the farm. When we hosted the dairy breakfast in 2018. We were able to talk with so many people. Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin brought their magazine people from New York which was very cool. We love what we do so much, and it was so nice to let people see that. I also love getting to work with our kids.

What have you enjoyed most about dairy farming or your tie to the industry? I am enjoying being here and doing it. We are lucky to be dairying. I enjoy working with my husband every day and having our kids and grandkids involved. We have had such a crazy spring, and it has been so awesome to see everyone pull together. I am so proud of all of my family in agriculture. I watched my mother balance it all and have had her as an example.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your dairy career? We expanded in 2015 and went from a tiestall barn to a freestall and parlor setup. It was a dream come true.

What are things you do to promote your farm or the dairy industry? We have shirts made every year with a different saying on them. We hosted the dairy breakfast in the past. We are active on social media as well. My daughter and I started an FFA Alumni, and I have two daughters who are FFA leaders. All of us get together to participate in parades, and in the past, we have used a blow-up cow suit for fun.

What advice would you give another woman in the dairy industry? Roll with the punches. You cannot be too hard on yourself because you can’t do everything. Take a step back when things get rough. For me, fieldwork is like therapy because I can be out in nature and have time to think.

When you get a spare moment, what do you do? I like to garden with flowers. I have a pond behind the house with fish in it that I built. I also like to attend farm sales with my husband.

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