The Rynda famiy – (from left) Noah, Francis, Theresa, Levi, Rachel and Isaac – milks 40 cows and farms 400 acres near Montgomery, Minnesota. The whole family actively helps on the family dairy. 
PHOTO BY MAGGIE MOLITOR
The Rynda famiy – (from left) Noah, Francis, Theresa, Levi, Rachel and Isaac – milks 40 cows and farms 400 acres near Montgomery, Minnesota. The whole family actively helps on the family dairy. PHOTO BY MAGGIE MOLITOR
MONTGOMERY, Minn. – With second crop hay underway and a truck load of steers ready for market, Francis Rynda and his family made the most out of their busy day July 13.  
“There is always something happening on a dairy farm,” Francis said. “That’s what makes dairy farming fun. Every day is different.”
Francis and his wife, Theresa, have four children: Isaac, 21, Rachel, 19, Noah, 16, and Levi, 8 – all of whom are active on the family dairy.
The family milks 40 cows and farms 400 acres in Le Sueur County near Montgomery.
After a 6 a.m. wake-up call, the Ryndas headed to the barn for morning chores that mid-July day. They worked together to tackle the morning milking and feeding. Isaac and Noah fed the heifers, cows and steers while Francis, Theresea and Rachel made up the miking crew. Midway through milking, Theresa and Rachel began feeding the calves as Francis finished milking the cows.
“We all work together as a team,” Francis said. “Everyone helps out where they can.”
Rachel has an internship with Dakota County 4-H and Isaac works for River Country Cooperative. While both kids work off the farm, they balance their jobs with helping at home. As morning chores wrapped up two hours later, Blaine Lewer, the milk hauler, drove up the driveway to collect the milk and bring it to the Agropur Dairy Cooperative in Le Sueur.
The hustle and bustle in the farm yard continued as construction workers built a machinery shop. Elsewhere on the farm, Francis, Isaac, Noah and Levi picked out and loaded 12 steers to go to the sale barn. The Ryndas purchase bull calves from two neighboring dairies and feed out about 130 steers a year.
By 9 a.m., Francis was off to Cannon Falls with a trailer load of steers while Isaac and Rachel made their way to work.
Francis returned home by 11 a.m. with ambitions surrounding finishing baling second crop alfalfa by 5 p.m.
Noah raked the hay while Francis followed behind with the baler.
The Ryndas have 40 acres of alfalfa this year. The farm also grows corn, soybean and wheat.
“Mother Nature often determines what kind of hay we make,” Francis said. “First crop we put up in the silo, and we had plans to make second crop into dry hay. But with the humidity and predicted weather we settled for baleage.”
The beautiful day was perfect for Levi and a friend to go swimming at the pool in Montgomery. While Levi was swimming, Theresa took care of household chores and checked on a cow ready to calve.
By 4:30 p.m., Theresa and Rachel began evening chores. They separated the new calf hiding in the tree line behind the dry cow paddock from the cows.
“You never know what you’re going to need to do on the farm,” Theresa said. “There is always something to keep us on our toes.”
As Rachel finished up calf chores, Noah loaded the haylage for the heifers in the skid loader bucket, and Theresa prepared the barn for milking.
At 5:03 p.m. sharp, Francis pulled into the farm yard with the baler, satisfied with his goal of finishing by 5 p.m. to help his family with evening chores.
Second crop for the Ryndas made 169 round bales, just one shy of Levi’s guess of 170 bales.
With all the kids home from their perspective daily outings, evening chores were a joint effort by the Rynda team.
As chores concluded, Noah and Isaac went to wrap bales, Francis ground corn, and Levi checked up on his cat, Purry, who had a litter of kittens the day prior.
“All five kitten are calico,” Levi said. “That means they are all girls, and they can have more kitties when they get older.”
The eventful day on the Ryndas’ dairy ended with accomplishments that included bringing a load of steers to the sales barn, making 40 acres of hay and wrapping 72 bales.
“It was a good day,” Francis said. “We’ll finish wrapping tomorrow and call it a successful second crop made.”