Q: Why did you get into the dairy business?
A: Susan: I like the cows and the flexibility to work full time as a Mom and a dairy farmer. I get up early and do chores (feed, water, etc.) for the calves, heifers, chickens, sheep and horses; then I milk the cows and come back into the house to get children on the bus. Some days I am busy with animal work all day until it is time to do the afternoon chores. Some days I go to town for errands. Or some days I go to school activities. I also like to be active in the industry on various Dairy Boards as this keeps my mind busy!
I worked on the dairy farm at the University of Delaware. I did my masters project at the dairy farm at Purdue. I worked in Ag Extension. I married onto the farm.
Q: How does your family ensure your cows stay comfortable?
A: Susan: We do chores (feeding, water, bedding, etc) twice a day, every day – even holidays or if we are sick! We have a vaccination program (just like for my children). The Veterinarian comes monthly for a routine check of the animals.
The cows sleep on sand bedding – like a day on the beach. It is comfortable and resistant to bacterial growth so it is good for their legs and the udder health.
In the summer we have fans to keep the animals cooler. In the winter we do extra bedding and feed to help keep them warm.
Q: What do you love most about being in the dairy industry?
A: Anne: Being around animals and getting to take care of them- getting the farm experience. You get to be outside almost every day and have fresh air. Also life lessons like “you all have to pitch in to get things done” and “you always have to try your best”.
Crist: I like all the life lessons, “you don’t get anything by sitting around on your behind” and “you’ve got to work for what you get”.
Susan: The animals and most of the people I have met. I take pride in producing a food that is so good for everyone. I think it is so cool that the cow can take that feed/hay/grain/water and almost magically metabolize that into some of the most delicious treats ever – and the only leftover is fertilizer (manure) to grow more cow (and people) food! Every morning when I am milking I have cheese to get me through – and a “little coffee in my milk” to give me a jump start!