Women in Dairy: Cherrie Frost

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Withee, Wisconsin
Clark County
55 cows

Tell us about your family and farm. My husband, Mark, and I moved onto this farm Nov. 1, 1987. Today, with this farm, the farm across the road and my husband’s parents’ farm, we have around 300 acres. We raised our two kids, Nicole and Travis, on this farm. Mark and I have managed all three farms pretty much by ourselves. The kids helped in the summertime.

What is a typical day like for you on the dairy? I get up at 4:15 a.m. and head to the barn. I get the cows up and clean the alley. While my husband cleans, I get the milking stuff ready and start milking. I do the milking and then head across the road to feed and clean over there. Mark and I each have our chores, and when one needs help, we always are there to help each other. When all the animals are fed and cleaned, we head in for breakfast. Every day can be different depending on what needs to be done besides the normal chores. In the spring, I head out to get the fields ready to plant, and in the summer, I cut hay and chop. I love doing yard work. I also take care of the bookwork.

What decision have you made in the last year that has benefited your farm? We built a shed across the road on the farm there. We were able to bring our heifers home from Mark’s parents’ place. Now we don’t have to run over there every day to feed. Instead, we only go there for fieldwork. Mark still goes over to check on his mom.

Tell us about your most memorable experience working on the farm. The most memorable day for me was the day we drove two and a half hours to my uncle’s. He had purchased a Brown Swiss heifer calf for me. We brought her home in the back of our vehicle. We also have hosted a wedding, my parents’ memorial services, graduations and 31 years of family reunions on the farm.

What have you enjoyed most about dairy farming or your tie to the dairy industry? I love working with the animals and that every day is different. I love watching the animals grazing and watching a new life being born. I love working in the fields and seeing the crops grow. I love being our own boss and raising our kids here.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your dairy career? The biggest accomplishment is that my husband and I have been farming together for over 37 years, and that even with all the highs and lows, we are still here. We enjoy working with the animals, even though it takes us longer because we are getting older.

What are things you do to promote your farm or the dairy industry? We host a reunion every year for family and friends. This year will be 32 years. Everyone enjoys coming and learning about what we do, and if they want, they get to milk a cow. Our family sometimes brings friends with who want to come and see the farm.

What advice would you give another woman in the dairy industry? Always make a little time for yourself. Remember that times do get tough, but always remember the good times outweigh the bad.

What is a challenge in the dairy industry you have faced and how did you overcome it? They keep taking medications away from us that we rely on to treat our animals when needed. We feel like we are always trying to find different medications that will work.

When you get a spare moment, what do you do? We like to go dancing and listen to live bands. In the winter, I love reading and baking. During the summer, I love yard work. We also love going to our oldest grandson’s football, basketball and baseball games. Spending time with family, friends and our grandkids is always special.

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