The Andreas Family
Dairy Farmers from Sugarcreek, Ohio
The Andreas Dairy farm is home to 1,200 milking cows and 3,500 acres of cropland and has been in the Andreas family for six generations — a family tradition since 1881! Dan and Lois Andreas and their son Matt work closely with 26 full-time employees to create an environment that is good for their cows, their land and the team of people who help them produce safe, high-quality milk.
You have a large farm, but it’s still a family farm, correct?
Dan: Yes. In fact most farms in Ohio are still family owned and operated farms. On our farm we provide for 26 employees and their families — more than 100 people in all. It is a family farm; we’re just a little bit larger in scale than some farms in Ohio.
HEAR FROM THE FARMER
Hear Matt Andreas talk about this decision to continue a family history of dairy farming and reasons that him back to the farm
How critical is your team when it comes to measuring success?
Matt: Teamwork is essential to our success. We have a highly educated team working with and for us. For example our herdsman, an OSU graduate in animal science, is in charge of animal health throughout the whole dairy farm. Our contracted nutritionist comes here twice a month to balance all the diets for our cows, and we have veterinarians visit at least once a week. Cow care responsibilities are delegated to employees with animal science backgrounds.
Dan: We have a tremendous and dedicated staff. The average tenure is seven to eight years, with quite a few over 10 years and some exceeding 20 years. It’s a constant education for all of us. Our staff is engaged at meetings, and they provide new ideas and ways of doing things that have made us more efficient, which ultimately makes us more successful.
Lois: We acknowledge and reward them for good ideas, for hard work and for exceptional production within the herd. Dan always says we wouldn’t be here without them.
In order for a farm to run smoothly, you have to pay attention to details.
How does it make you feel to transition the farm to your son – the 6th generation of Andreas’ to farm this land?
I guess you could say it’s a father’s dream. It’s been a real pleasure being in business with my son, and I look forward to visiting with him every day, but I would be lying if I told you every day was perfect. I am amazed at how my son has made the transition from a regular-type job to being a manager of a farm. He’s an excellent people person, which is one of the things you need to be as you grow in size. You have to rely on excellent employees. In order for a farm to run smoothly, you have to pay attention to details, and he does that extremely well.