Edgar and Martha Martin (pictured with granddaughter)
Brooten, Minn.
Stearns County
190 cows

How did you get into farming? I grew up on a dairy farm; my parents milked and farmed in Elkhart, Ind. My wife, Martha, and I, and our 11 children moved here in 1999.

What are your thoughts and concerns about the dairy industry for the next year? Like everybody else, the milk price and the outcome of the dairy industry. Commercial farms get bigger and family farms struggle to keep going.

What is the latest technology you implemented on your farm and the purpose for it? We put tunnel ventilation in the freestall barn three years ago. It kept the barn warmer in the winter and kept the flies off the cows in the summer. It really helped with cow comfort.

What is a management practice you changed in the past year that has benefited you? We shared equipment with our neighbor and did our own manure pumping this past fall. It saved us a lot of money.

How do you retain a good working relationship with your employees? We don’t really have any help. It’s us and our son and daughter-in-law, Gregory and Charlene. They are buying some of the cows.

Tell us about a skill you possess that makes dairy farming easier for you. Maintenance. I like to fix things as much as I can.

What do you enjoy most about dairy farming? Being home with the family and working with the family and raising our children on the farm.

What advice would you give other dairy farmers? If you have cows, you have to manage them well; cows pay the bills. Watch your spending.

What has been the best purchase you’ve ever made on your farm? The skidloader; it moves a lot of things around in a day.

What has been your biggest accomplishment while dairy farming? Raising our family, teaching them good work ethic and helping them get established. We have five children in the area. Four milk cows and one hauls milk.

What are your plans for your dairy in the next year and five years? We plan to ease off and help our son take over. We will try to help him as much as health permits. As long as we are here we will help.

How do you or your family like to spend time when you are not doing chores? Edgar: I like to take a nap. Martha: I like to read. We both like to spend time with church families on Sunday.