When we wanted cereal for breakfast, we just took a pitcher out to the tank, dipped it in and poured it at the table. Now I see that’s a bit different than most childhoods.
I was born and raised on a dairy farm in Lynden, Washington (literally – I didn’t move out until the day I got married). My parents bought it in 1981 and they, along with me, my two brothers and sister, operated it for nearly 30 years.
At one point, my sister asked my parents if she could have a horse. So, my dad compromised and bought a Jersey cow because it was way more profitable than a horse. And so, we raised Holstein Cattle (the black and white ones), Jersey Cattle (the brown ones) and even Ayrshire Cattle (the less common red and white ones). Little did we know, our farm would hold the world record for the highest producing Jersey Cow in a single year!
Running a family farm 24/7 meant we didn’t take a lot of vacations growing up. Our vacation was the week spent at the Northwest Washington Fair, where my parents showed dairy cows for 48 years. The Fair has been a part of my entire life and I’m deeply connected to not only the competition and show, but what it stands for.
To a farmer, their farm is life. It is an incredibly difficult (and rewarding) lifestyle that requires you to work around the clock. The work ethic needed to operate a farm is unmatched, in my opinion. Although I didn’t realize it then (when I was milking the cows or clearing out snow), the values my family farm taught me are ones I would take with me into my future — both personally and professionally. And while my personal farming journey has come to an end, I’m honored to be able to work with our clients who are passionate about the industry, supporting them to achieve their goals.