One of the things I’m passionate about, aside from farming, is being involved with committees and organizations related to agriculture. Being involved gives me the opportunity to network with not only other farmers, but other agriculture industry professionals. We share ideas, things that have worked for us and things that haven’t.
I have been involved with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (formerly known as the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board) for nine years. I am on the board of directors and have served as the vice president of the board for five years. Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin helps promote Wisconsin dairy products including butter, milk and, of course, the cheese that wins. Wisconsin cheesemakers win more awards than anyone else.
The organization also helps educate consumers about dairy farming and where their favorite dairy foods come from. There are so many misconceptions about dairy farming, from how we treat our cows and the environment to the things that are added to milk. Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin works with farmers to teach all of us how to talk to consumers to help them understand that animal care is one of our top priorities on the farm, and we have rigorous testing practices in place during the entire farm-to-table journey of milk to make sure it is high quality and safe for everyone to drink.
It isn’t always easy taking time away from the farm, but it’s always worth it when I’m able to work with other dairy farmers and organizations to help consumers understand what we do and why we love to do it.