Ask A Farmer/Farm Family

How are cattle farmers educated and trained?

Q: How are cattle farmers educated and trained on animal practices, food safety and quality? A: I am certified through the Beef Quality Assurance program, with principles of best management practices and safe operating procedures designed to meet U.S. food production standards. Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) is an education program for farmers more

How are dairy farms different today?

Q: How are dairy farms different today, based on modern technology, compared to the days of milking cows by hand? A: Farmers don’t milk cows by hand anymore. Today most farms have milking parlors and can milk several cows at a time. Technology has improved dairy farming. My Grandpa milked cows by more

How do you juggle the holidays with your family and farm?

Answer: The holidays are a special time and meant to be shared with family. However, livestock farmers still need to tend to their animals and don't have the holidays off. As a farmer who raises pigs, I dislike holidays. Why? On a livestock farm, animals require daily care, including holidays. You see, I more

Why do you separate beef cattle with pens on your farm?

Answer: Pens allow farmers to sort cattle by size, gender, diet and quantity. This separation offers uniformity and a better environment for the beef cattle. Often, I get the questions, “Why do you have so many pens of cattle?  Can’t they all just be together?” The simple answer is no…when you are more

Why Are We Losing So Many Dairy Farms?

Answer: There are several reasons dairy farms are going out of business: lower milk prices, oversupply, lack of markets, less consumption and diminishing exports. In 2014 we had record milk prices of over $25 per hundredweight. Dairy farmers get paid by the hundredweight which is 100 pounds of milk or just more

Why can’t you leave cows on pasture year-round?

Answer: Our cows are on pasture from late spring to early fall when the weather is good. We rotate cows between pastures to graze on forages. In the winter, our cows are housed in barns for shelter and comfort. On our dairy farm we provide our cows with pastures. Some dairy more

Are all farms today factory farms?

Answer: Farms have gotten bigger and have become more efficient (like factories) due to farm equipment, technology and economics. But the majority of farms are still family farms. Many times the term “factory farm” is used today to describe modern farms in a negative way. It is understandable. After all, over more

What is involved with buying and selling your cattle?

Answer: When buying cattle, I look for cattle that are similar in size, are healthy and well-cared for. When I sell my cattle, it is important to provide animals with the proper finish to meet buyer and consumer needs. As a cattle farmer I talk about the kind, quality, and connection more