Emily Heeg
Marshfield, Wisconsin
Wood County
60 cows

Family: My husband, Eric, and our 8-month-old son, Oliver.

Tell us about your farm. My husband is the fourth-generation farmer in the family and second generation at this farm. We have a 60-cow tiestall herd, which is family owned and operated, with no employees. We run 350 acres of corn, soybean, oat and alfalfa.

What is a typical day like for you on the dairy? A typical day for us isn’t like most farms. We milk at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Summers are busy most days from fieldwork to maintaining equipment. In the summer, I unload small square bales at both our farm and my parents’ farm. During the daytime, I care for our son. I never realized raising kids really is a full-time job. I’m blessed to be able to work from home and spend all day with our son. I help with chores at night. While my husband gets cows from the pasture, I prep the milkhouse for chores. My husband and I milk together; it usually takes us about an hour and a half. After milking, I feed calves while my husband runs out feed and cleans the milkhouse. Then, when we both are finished, we let the cows back out and clean the barn.

What decision have you made in the last year that has benefited your farm? Purchasing the rest of cattle with my husband and renting the barn from his parents has been a decision that has benefited us. It is a great feeling knowing we own something and can be our own boss, making our own decisions. In the past, I have worked off the farm part time. Now that we own the cattle, I work only on our farm and occasionally help my dad on his farm.

Tell us about your most memorable experience working on the farm. My most memorable experience on the farm is when non-farm family members stop with their children. I love watching how excited the kids get when they see the tractors or animals. I love when the kids ask questions. We try to teach them where their food comes from.

What have you enjoyed most about dairy farming or your tie to the dairy industry? I love being able to work with family. I grew up on a dairy farm and occasionally milk cows and drive tractor for my parents. I love being able to work with my father and grandfather. Family means everything to me. Now, I farm with my husband and his family. I’m thankful my son gets to grow up working with family.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your dairy career? Going to the Mid-State Technical College farm operations program and graduating with cords has been a huge accomplishment for me. I always struggled in school, but college was easy. When you go to school for something you love and have a passion for, school can be fun and enjoyable. When I attended school, I continued working at a farm store and on my parents’ farm. I’m proud of myself for continuing to work while in school.

What are things you do to promote your farm or the dairy industry? My favorite way to promote the dairy industry is going to tons of dairy breakfasts in the month of June. It helps promote the local FFA programs as well. I also try to share a lot of positive things about agriculture on social media.

What advice would you give another woman in the dairy industry? My advice for a fellow woman in agriculture is to find someone who shares the same passion and goals in life. Doing something you’re passionate about doesn’t mean you only need to milk cows. There are many other opportunities in the dairy industry that are rewarding.

When you get a spare moment, what do you do? In my spare time, I love to take my son to different events such as craft shows and dairy breakfasts. I also take him for tons of walks. He loves being outside. I also enjoy spending time hanging out with my girlfriends. I enjoy doing day trips with them. We like to go for hikes and go to different concerts.