By Kimmi Devaney of Winners Drink Milk
Steve & Abbie Herr
Why did you go into the dairy business?
Steve is a 4th generation dairy farmer in his family. He wanted to continue the legacy and likes the rewarding feel you get from being a dairy farmer. David and Mary, Steve's parents, both grew up on farms and thoroughly enjoyed being involved in the agriculture community. Dennis worked with his father, Emmert, until David graduated. They then incorporated the farm in 1972. It doesn't hurt that we all LOVE cows either!!
How does your family ensure your cows stay comfortable?
Our cows have sand bedded freestalls. Sand bedding is cooler and the cows love it! During the summer the cows have sprinklers and fans in each pen. This allows them to stay cooler especially on those HOT summer days! We also have a few pens that have cow brushes. The cows love using them to get those itches that can't be scratched, and we love watching them use the brushes.
How many generations are currently working on your farm?
There are 2 generations working on the farm. David, Mary, and Dennis are the 3rd generation. David does all the crop work and custom chopping for other dairy farmers in the community. Mary is the bookkeeper for the farm. Dennis is semi-retired and helps where ever it is needed. Steve and Abbie are the 4th generation. Steve is the herdsman and manages all of the employees. Abbie is the heifer manager. For the most part, we all know how to do all the jobs, so if an employee has an emergency we can fill in.
What do you love most about being in the dairy industry?
We love being a part of something that is so vital to the general public. We love that we get to work with animals! We are now becoming more involved in helping put a positive image on the dairy industry for the consumers. Being involved in such a rewarding industry gives you a great sense of pride!
What do you want the general public to know about dairy farming?Dairy farmers work hard to make sure the animals are well taken care of and as a result produce nutritious dairy products for consumers. We also strive to send a safe product to the consumer. We love our animals! Without them we would not be where we are today. They give us a reason to get up every day and make sure they are healthy, fed right, and properly managed, so we can keep being a part of such a wonderful industry!