Let me tell you some of the ways I love what I do. I am a fourth generation dairy farmer in Shelley, Idaho. I grew up working with my Dad, learning many life lessons from him. I moved across the road after I was married. See, when you farm you stay close to farm and family. We raised six kids, three boys and three girls. Especially my boys all learned the value of hard work on the dairy. All of my children are very responsible, hard working adults now. My kids learned the value of raising calves, which also helped them earn money for their future. My son is now a partner with me on the farm. He just built a house a few hundred yards from ours. He has a son who I think when he gets older will be the sixth generation dairy farmer in our family.
I enjoy the daily experience of welcoming new calves onto the farm. I welcome the challenge to provide the best life I can for my animals. We produce extremely high quality milk, which wouldn’t be possible without healthy cows, and a work staff who really cares about their jobs.
I enjoy being around other like-minded dairy farmers from all across the country. You couldn’t have a better group of family oriented people to associate with. In farming you know your blessings come from God, so every farmer I know has good Christian values.
I love being able to walk to and from work every day. I love being able to spend my lunch time at home with my wife. I enjoy being able to have the grandkids over often. I was able to take time to see almost every activity my children were involved in growing up.
Don’t get me wrong that there are not challenges being a dairy farmer because there certainly are. But I wouldn’t trade my life or what I do for anything.
I have served on the Idaho Dairy Products Commission board for 23 years. I served three years on the National Dairy Board and have served on the United Dairy Industry Association board for three years, and am still on this board. I am the president of the Western States Dairy Trade Association, and have been on this board for over 10 years. I was just elected to the Dairy Farmers of America local board.
I have been on our local school board for over 7 years and was just elected to another 4 year term. I’m vice chairman of the school board. I write a blog after most of our school board meetings to inform people what goes on. Our district is small only about 750 total students. I usually have about 100-200 page views after each blog.
I also served on the animal welfare supply chain sub committee through DMI earlier this year. I was one of two dairy farmers with several processor reps and NMPF staff working on setting 3rd party auditing standards for the FARM Plan program developed by NMPF. We also helped develop some of the guidelines that were recommended to the committee working on the new manual.
I estimated I will be gone around 60 days next year serving on these dairy boards. I am very informed about what is going on in the dairy industry, but I view it an honor to serve where I can and try my best to make a positive difference.
I have six kids and 13 grandkids, my youngest son works with me on our dairy farm. I’m a fourth generation dairy farmer. We own about 1,300 cows, plus raise all our heifers and some steers.