by Julia Hudyncia
Dairy farmers work hard every day to bring you fresh, great tasting, wholesome dairy products. Ninety-seven percent of all dairy farms are family-owned and are active members of their communities. Farm families take pride in feeding our world and maintaining natural resources; that means preserving land where they live and work, protecting the air and water they share with neighbors, and providing the best care for their cows-the lifeblood of their business.
Why do people love to be farmers? Let me say farming is a way of life; farming is not an 8-5 job. Farmers work before sun up to long after sun-down. Farmers have a special place in their hearts for animals; they cherish their time with them.
Both my parents realize the importance of the dairy industry in our families. My parents’ passion for the dairy industry, and the Holstein cow in particular, was the ignition spark behind the involvement of all their children with our dairy projects.
From the earliest times I can remember, I have been helping out in the everyday operation of the farm. I am very involved in our home farm and enjoy all aspects of the daily operation. Since a very young age, the Registered Holsteins I have grown to own, raise, and love have influenced my involvement in the Holstein Association, community, and other dairy groups and organizations.
On my farm we pride ourselves in taking care of our animals and land. When your land can work as one with your animals, a farmer sets itself up for success. We use pasture as much as possible because we feel that the outdoors and pasture helps the overall health of the cow. Pasture enables the cows to strengthen their legs and have access to exercise. When the weather outside becomes too warm, the cows will come into the barn and relax under our fans. When it’s too cold, the cows also have the shelter of the barn to keep them warmer.
Farmers utilize all land resources they have to make their farms sustainable for years to come. We live on our farm and understand the importance of protecting natural resources. Quality water is essential to a dairy farm we provide our cow’s clean water which contributes to high-quality milk. Dairy farmers also care about air quality. Our family lives and works on the farm and breathes the air, too. We understand the importance of clean air for future generations. One way we work to control odor is through containing, controlling and recycling manure produced on the farm. The latest research shows that the U.S. dairy industry accounts for only about 2 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Dairy farmers are working on ways to reduce that figure even more.
Why do we farm? It’s a way of life and our livelihood. We depend on our animals to provide high-quality milk therefore we need to start by taking good care of our cows. Farming is an excellent way of life, teaching responsibility, work ethic and compassion. America’s dairy farmers are dedicated to providing consumers with safe, high-quality milk and dairy products. Our commitment to quality means taking good care of our animals and the land. Farmers are natural stewards of the land by sustaining life and health of the soils.
“Farmers feed this entire planet and it’s time the world paid attention.”
Please visit www.farmon.com and www.dairyfarmingtoday.org for more information.
by Julia Hudyncia