A Dairy Farmer’s Perspective
by Bill Indoe
There are certainly mornings when I wonder why I’m an Ohio dairy farmer. It’s a rigorous full-time job with no days off. Most mornings, I roll out of bed at 6 a.m. and go straight to the barn to milk the girls. My day ends after the sun goes down as I conduct one last check on our 100 head of dairy cattle.
As a fourth-generation dairy farmer, I take great pride in producing safe, high-quality dairy foods. This means providing the best care for my cows and calves, taking care of my land, and running the farm responsibly.
As a fourth-generation dairy farmer, I take great pride in producing safe, high-quality dairy foods.
My days most generally begin in the barn where we raise Holstein, Jersey and Brown Swiss cows; however, no day is quite the same as the one before. We raise our cows in a climate-controlled barn that keeps them comfortable at all times and protects them from disease. Inside the barn, they have soft bedding to lie on, fans in the summertime to keep them cool, and curtains to keep them warm during Ohio’s cold winter months.
As we walk the barns each day, we ensure the cows have continuous access to nutritious feed and fresh water. Our farm works directly with a nutritionist to develop a well-balanced diet that supports cow health and quality milk.
Twice daily, we walk the cows to the parlor to be milked. The parlor is equipped with rubber and heated flooring, so the cows have a soft, warm floor when they enter. Inside the parlor, the cows have their own individual stalls and grain to eat while they are milked.
Our farm follows stringent government regulations and works hard each day to ensure the milk consumers’ drink, and that we feed our family, is of the highest quality and safe to consume.
Our farm is routinely inspected by government regulatory agencies to ensure compliance with the Food and Drug Administration’s Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, which maintains milk quality and safety standards for human consumption, including dairy product safety, milk transportation, sanitation, equipment, and labeling.
Between milking and ensuring the cows are comfortable in the barns, each day we are working to protect the land and nearby waterways and streams. After all, we live here too, so it’s in our best interest to leave this farm in better shape than when we received it.
For me and the 2,600+ dairy farms across the state, dairy farming is our way of life and our livelihood. That’s why I make it my top priority to run my farm responsibly so my family can continue our long farming tradition.
Although being a dairy farmer is not always easy, we love what we do. We’re proud to be dairy farmers, and we’re always striving to improve.