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Up Close & Personal With Our Farmers!

Ask a Farmer

Students attending the 2018 Student Ambassador Summit had the opportunity to meet and ask questions of the farmers. Following are some of the questions asked and the responses from the farmer(s):

Ask a Farmer Q&As

@KayleeD49045977: To the farmers who milk about 600+ cows a day! My question to you is, it’s 2 questions. The first question is how many gallons do you milk each day? Then the second question is, how do farmers transfer the gallons of milk a day, to our local grocery stores?

Farmer Response: Great question. @dairy_activist (Marilyn Hershey, PA) milks approx. 3M gallons/year. It goes from farm to processing plant to dairy products.


@KnucklesLandon: What does the average work day look like for you?

Farmer Response: Our average work day is 16 hours, 7 days a week. Rain or shine. One day we even tracked 14k steps!!


@NWosnik: How do you prepare for a speech?

Farmer Response: No preparation needed since we speak from the heart. @AudreyDonahoe


@NWosnik: What is your family lifestyle like?

Farmer Response: Everything revolves around the farm. But, we try to find a balance since we have kids, grand kids, etc.


@Sarahkahl2: How did you first hear about FUTP 60 and why did you want to get involved with the program?

Farmer Response: We didn't hear about it, we actually created it. Dairy Farmers have always been interested in children's health and wellness.


@Taylorthigpen6: Why did you find the need to become a farmer? What can we do to help you and our future planet?

Farmer Response: Farmers are the original environmentalists and recyclers. How can you help? Consume dairy. Tell others to do the same.


@Sarahkahl2: What career do you think you would have right now if you were not a dairy farmer?

Farmer Response: I love to cook so I'd be a chef (@AudreyDonahoe, NY). I love to eat so I'd be a taster (@dairy_activist, PA). And, I'd be happy to drive them around, so I'd be the limo driver (@SunTonFarms, WA).


@NWosnik: About how many gallons of milk do you sell each year?

Farmer Response: Approx. 3M gallons a year!


@Ewhipple222: What is the most difficult situation you’ve faced as a dairy farmer?

Farmer Response: Unfortunately we've experienced a roof collapse, a silo falling on a barn and floods. But, the way the community came together to help us all is beyond words.


@ConnerM38129904: What is the hardest part of your daily routine?

Farmer Response: Balancing our families and our business. We want to make sure our kids feel as though they're our priority.


@Haine84: Do you name your cows?

Farmer Response: Absolutely. We follow trends and themes. Whomever gets to the computer first gets the name!


@LukeKel09173040: What is the worst weather for farming?

Farmer Response: The extremes. Extreme heat, cold, rain.


@Fefur77: Do you have a favorite cow, and what’s her name?

Farmer Response: Hands down Dolly was our favorite cow. (@AudreyDonahoe)


@GalvinJaclyn: What has been your biggest challenge as a farmer?

Farmer Response: Weather and pricing are our biggest challenges.


@AlyssaMWhittin1: Do you have internships for students?

Farmer Response: Yes, they are available through university ag programs. We love our interns.


@Hannah70808066: How did you become a farmer?

Farmer Response: For some of us it's been in the family for generations, but for others we married into Dairy Farming.


@CoachBAnderson: What is the biggest challenge you face in the future as agriculture continues to evolve and change?

Farmer Response: Future generations will not have the opportunities due to the rising cost of operating a farm.


@SidneyOSU: Could you tell me more about Organic dairy farms vs “regular” dairy farms?

Farmer Response: It's a different style of farming and fills a market need.


@HaydenArndt2: What was the most motivating part of your career that keeps you driving? Also what was the biggest barrier in your career?

Farmer Response: Biggest motivator is when future generations come back to the farm and consumers realize the value of milk. Barriers are plant alternatives and pricing.


@Trent2021: Thanks for all you do. How does a cow make the milk?

Farmer Response: You're more than welcome! When a cow eats, it passes through the 4 stomachs and produces milk.


@Aprilhatch5: Can you think of any tools that contemporary farmers must employ in order to stay competitive? How do they differ from those that you used in your earliest days as a farmer?

Farmer Response: Actually...iPhones and iPads!! It helps us watch weather, check our cameras in the barn, our records and even the market.


@Auroradreyer201: With all the troubles in your life what kept you motivated to keep going?

Farmer Response: For some of us it's the sunrise. Love being the first one up when everything is quiet. For some it's the sunset and reflecting on the day. For others it's seeing bald eagles soaring above.