Dairy Farming and Loving It
I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Since 2009 Krista Stauffer has been running a first generation dairy farm with her husband in eastern Washington. Stauffer says that even though the “newness” has worn off and it’s very hard work there is no other place she would rather be.
STAUFFER: We’ve had a lot of ups and downs; we’ve had a lot of setbacks, but there’s no other place that would make my husband happy. This is what he wants to do; this is what he’s always wanted to do, and it’s become my passion. I love cows, I have a passion for cows, and I just could not ever imagine selling them or raising my children anywhere else.
Stauffer talks about some of the challenges they’ve encountered.
STAUFFER: The first initial challenge was moving to a new area and building a relationship with feed growers. Our farm we run as a cash flow only farm; we don’t have credit lines or credit cards. The individuals that we have built those relationships with, three out of four of them were dairy farmers at one point in time, so they want to see us succeed. So they allow us to make payments as we feed the feed; we don’t have to pay for it all up front. That I think would have been our biggest challenge if we would have farmed anywhere else, but where we are and the people that we work with; it has been just an amazing experience.
The Stauffers milk 140 cows, employing two part-time employees to help out.
STAUFFER: You asked earlier what one of our biggest struggles was - finding help. It is so hard to find individuals that want to work, and that will work, and that will show up and take the job seriously. But we’re finally to a point - we just upgraded our parlour - we have two individuals that we can rely on, and it’s been going smoothly.
Be sure to check out Stauffer’s blog at thefarmerswifee.com.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.