Friday, February 17, 2012

Meet an Indiana Dairy Farmer: The Estes Family

By Kimmi Devaney of Winners Drink Milk

Kerry Estes
Dairy Farmer
Fountaintown, Indiana

About Kerry: Kerry milks about 160 cows with his wife, Christiana, and four kids in central Indiana. While his cows primarily graze on pasture, the Estes also provide them with comfortable waterbeds in the free stall barn. Kerry also coaches football for the local youth league.

Q:  Why did you get into the dairy business? 
A: We decided to dairy because we believe it is the best place to raise a family.

Q: How does your family ensure your cows stay comfortable? 
A: Since we utilize grazing and a free stall barn, we are able to give the cows the best of both worlds.  During the warm months, cows do the majority of their grazing during the cool hours of the day and during the night.  When the day begins to get hot, we bring cows back to the barn where they have plenty of fresh water, shade, and comfortable stalls to lie in.  Our barn is quite open and airy with great natural light.  The cows lie on waterbeds, which keeps them quite comfortable. 

Q: If you weren’t a dairy farmer, what would you do? 
A: I would probably do several things including raising heifers, hay production, coaching football, and marriage counseling.

Q: How many generations are currently working on your farm?
A: We are the first generation on our farm and currently in our seventh year milking cows. We started our farm in 2005.

Q: What do you love most about being in the dairy industry? 
A: I enjoy the responsibility of being self-employed as well as working with the great people that support our operation.

Q: What do you want the general public to know about dairy farming?
A:  I want the general public to realize the commitment we as dairy farmers have made to produce a safe, quality product in a responsible manner. 

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