When I think back to my first memories, one thing comes to mind – cows. While most young girls were playing with dolls or pretending to be a princess, I spent hours pretending to be a dairy farmer with my little sister. At age 3, I began a quest to master the art of drawing… cows of course, and continually filled my parents’ days with nonstop conversation about everything cow!
My love for cows was really unexplainable. Dairy farming is in my family but was generations before me when my great-great grandparents emigrated from Germany and started a dairy on their homestead across from where I live today. While I didn’t grow up on a working dairy farm I had the privilege of being a part of the farming community since I was 8 years old when my mom enrolled me in a local dairy 4-H club.
Each 4-H member had the responsibility of doing farm chores once a week and I felt so important when it was my turn to feed the calves and help do nighttime chores on the dairy. I fell in love with it instantly.
I know what you are thinking, chores… every 8 year olds' dream, right? But for me, it actually was! Those chores taught me responsibility, time management, work ethic, and how to still put a smile on my face even through the tough times.
When I turned 12 years old I had finally saved enough money to buy a Jersey heifer (a heifer is a young female cow). She was the cutest little heifer I had ever seen and I named her Daisy Mae. If you think cows don’t have personality – think again! Daisy Mae was really one of a kind and made me laugh every day.
Right away I learned that 4-H was so much more than winning a trophy at the fair; it was a continuation of the lessons I was learning every day taking care of my animals at home and on the dairy. 4-H taught me about the dairy industry, gave me the opportunity to visit dairies and learn about farming, learn about the best farm practices and how to care for cattle, how to become confident in public speaking, how to lose and win gracefully, and so much more.
It puts a smile on my face every time I see the next generation of kids helping out on the family farm and learning what it takes to be a responsible leader.
Dairying taught me my biggest life lessons and made me the person I am today. Dairying is about working together as a family and serving the community. I am passionate about sharing dairy’s story with people who don’t have the opportunity to see where their milk comes from and hope that I can give you all a glimpse into a farmer’s life.
Follow my stories of growing up with Daisy Mae and her calves and all my adventures with farmers this year across our beautiful state.