Anne Jones
Iowa County
Ridgeway Wisconsin
60 cows
Family: My husband, Evan, and I have three kids, Emery, 4, Lane, 2,
and Cash, 2 months.

Tell us about the farm. We farm with Evan’s parents. This is his family farm. We milk about 60 registered Jerseys in a tiestall barn that holds 40. We have around 200 tillable acres that we have mostly in hay. Evan and his parents do most of the milking, and Evan’s sister plays an active role in chores by feeding calves in the morning and helping fill in a lot. In short, we are a classic family farm. It’s not uncommon during chore time to see three generations of people working together.  

What is the busiest time of day for you? Usually right before or right after chores. It is getting everybody up and fed – having breakfast and getting ready for school. My role on the farm has changed with the more kids we have. I feed calves at night and then get everybody in and to bed. I would say the bookends are the busiest time of the day.

When you get a spare moment what do you do? I am one extreme or the other. I either want to go for a run or I want to sit on the couch and look at my phone. Otherwise, running is my go-to.

Tell us about your most memorable experience working on the farm. This might be cheating, but those moments where we see the kids really enjoying something or picking up on something we do. Most of the time during chores they run free but then Emery asks to get a cow ready, and she knows how to do it because she has seen her dad do it so many times. Or when we see her grab a calf bottle without being asked. When we see the kids start to do stuff we know they only learned by watching us. I like that.

What have you enjoyed most about dairy farming or your tie to the dairy industry? I have met so many cool women in the dairy industry. I got to do Chick Day with Vita Plus, I got to speak on a panel once for Vita Plus, I got to submit an article in Hoard’s Dairyman and now this. That has been really cool, getting to be a part of women supporting women.

How do you stay connected with others in the industry? The Facebook group Dairy Moms is a really amazing group of women that is more than just a Facebook group. It might be my favorite part of the dairy industry. I definitely use that to stay connected with women in agriculture. There are women from our community we have become close to because of that group and not because of where we live.  

Who is someone in the industry who has inspired you? There are a ton of agvocates like the Modern Day Farm Chick, the Farmers Wifee, and other women out there sharing their story. I like Krista Dolan because she is really good at keeping it real. She shares her pictures of raising calves, and she’s got kids just a little older than mine so it’s nice to see that she’s already through some of what mine are going through.

If you could give a tour of your farm to a prominent woman in today’s society, who would it be? I think Ellen DeGeneres is funny, but last year she shared something that was not ag positive. I think it was about meat. I wish I could show her what our farm is. I would pick someone who has said something negative about ag, and I would show them what it is actually like. Our animals are not tortured or abused. My kids lay on them and feed them animal crackers when they are in the barn. All the cows have names.

What is the best vacation you have ever taken? My dream vacation would be to go sit on a beach somewhere by myself and read a book. But that has not happened. We went camping last July for two days and it was so much fun. Evan still came home to do chores, but we felt a little bit like a regular family for a weekend. I also really like ag conferences because we get off the farm, but we still learn different things.

What are some words you like to live by? I love inspirational quotes like, “Chin up princess. If not, the crown falls,” and other things that talk about trying to stay positive and keeping a balance. It can be a really crummy day but if you can slap a smile on and figure out one reason why it’s OK, it’s fine. I also like to be real and being able to say it’s hard right now but it’s going to be OK.