Dairy Farmer from Bruceton Mills, West Virginia
Greg Gibson is a fifth generation farmer and second generation dairy farmer from Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. Greg cares for 80 Holstein cows and 380 acres of crops. He is the second generation at Mason Run Farms to win the WV Conservation Farm of the Year Award for his outstanding conservation efforts.
How long has this farm been in your family, and what made you continue the farming tradition?
Greg: My parents started the dairy in the early 1950s, after they were married. We’ve been on this land since the early 1800s and have the original land grant deeds from the state of Virginia. My great-great grandfather started the farm. We’ve been on this ground a long time. I went to West Virginia University, did four years there and got my degree. I just always wanted to come back. I grew up doing it. It’s what I do.
HEAR FROM THE FARMER
Listen to Greg Gibson explain why there are no GMOs in milk.
How do you know your cows are comfortable?
Greg: As far as cow comfort goes, you do a lot of listening to your cows. You do a lot of observation to make sure they are comfortable and try to find any areas where you could improve. In our barn, we have mattresses, and we put pine shavings over top. We supply fresh feed and water. Our vet is here every two weeks checking the cows, and then he’s on call any time we need him.
When do you milk your cows, and does it hurt them to be milked?
Greg: Here we milk two times a day. We milk at 5 in the morning and a little after 4 in the afternoon. It takes about 5-7 minutes to milk one cow. It doesn’t hurt them to get milked. It actually relieves the pressure from their udder. Sometimes, they’re a little ticklish, just like anybody else! You’ll see them move around, but it doesn’t hurt them.