By Kimmi Devaney of Winners Drink Milk
Q: Why did you get into the dairy business?
A: I began purchasing cows and equipment after graduation in 1962. My wife Helen and I were married in 1966 and purchased the home farm from my Grandparents in 1968.
We purchased additional land in 1970, 1979 and 1981.
Q: How many generations are currently working on your farm?
A: I am the third generation on this farm. Our partners Scott & Darla Foerg and their daughter Allison are not immediate family members but started as employees and moved to ownership and have become a large part of our family. We currently have grandchildren who share an interest in dairy farming and could have an opportunity to return to the dairy at a later time.
Q: What do you love most about being in the dairy industry?
A: When I was the major operator on our dairy my passion was to operate a sound financial farm with very family oriented practices. Although I was involved at a small level in farm organizations early in my career I did not get deeply involved until I had additional management help available on the farm. Over the last 20 years my involvement has grown a great deal as I see the need for finding ways to help educate and build strength for producers in what the future holds for our industry.
Q: If you weren’t a dairy farmer, what would you do?
A: I was trained as an electrician and worked my own contracting business in my early career as a financial help to my dairy career.
Q: What do you want the general public to know about dairy farming?
A: Few other occupations require the passion and commitment that dairy farming does. Time management and dedicated best management practices are essential for a sound and efficient operation. Managing an operation with enough scale to allow for individual time away for family members is critical for personal family involvement. However, a dairy quickly becomes a family venture as it allows for family members of all ages to be involved at a level that their age and development provides. It's easy to see why dairy farms are nearly all family farms because of the close ties they bring to families.