Alaina Bruesch
Steen, Minnesota
Rock County
100 cows

Family: My husband, Szaun, and I were married two years ago. I have been working for John and Lisa Teune on their dairy farm since I was a sophomore in high school, so the Teunes are like family to me.

Tell us about your farm. John and his late father, Pete, built a new freestall and parlor facility in 1989. Before that, they had milked in tiestalls. I began working for the Teunes in 2008 when Lisa tore her rotator cuff. In 2011, I enrolled at Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar where I studied dairy production. I graduated in 2013 and came back here to work as a full-time employee. The Teunes farm about 280 acres. I do anything and everything around the farm, from fieldwork to feeding calves to milking cows.

What is the busiest time of day for you? Mornings are always the busiest. We try to get all the chores done then figure out what the rest of the day holds for us.

When you get a spare moment, what do you do? I own nine beef cows and 30 ewes, so I spend some time working with them. I also enjoy gardening and like to grow beans, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and pumpkins.

Tell us about your most memorable experience working on the farm. A couple of years ago, we had a heifer calf that was born six weeks premature. I was put in charge of raising her, so I named her Peanut. I put a dog jacket on her and fed her with a lamb nipple. Peanut is now doing well and is due to have her first calf in October. She has never been sick and has caught up with her herd mates.

What have you enjoyed most about dairy farming or your tie to the dairy industry? There is always variety and something is always happening. I enjoy working with the cattle. Each animal has her own personality. It also gives me a deep feeling of satisfaction when I help bring in the harvest each fall.

How do you stay connected with others in the industry? I try to stay connected by using social media including Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest.

Who is someone in the industry who has inspired you? My classmates in college were my biggest inspiration. We came from diverse backgrounds, but we came together with a common bond. We all wanted to be a part of the dairy industry and help make the industry better.

If you could give a tour of your farm to a prominent woman in today’s society, who would it be? I would give a tour to any of the female politicians who are currently holding office. I would educate them on why things are done the way they are on a dairy farm. I would teach them that we treat our animals humanely. We care deeply about the environment. My hope is that they would gain an understanding of how life is here in rural America.

What is the best vacation you have ever taken? Last summer, Szaun and I drove to Montana and went fishing for paddlefish. I had never been to the Rockies before and had never gone tenting before. It was beautiful out there. We had a very memorable five days.

What are some words you like to live by? Do the best you can with what you have.