The Henricks & Krieger Families
Dairy Farmers from Fayette, Ohio
Richard and Susan Henricks farm with their son Phillip and his wife Tara, and their nephew Shawn Krieger and his wife Kim in Fulton County Ohio. Together, the families care for 150 dairy cows and grow 900 acres of corn, soybean, wheat and alfalfa on their farm, Henricks & Krieger Dairy. The multi-generational farm prides itself on its commitment to excellent cow care and environmental stewardship.
How do you ensure your cows are well-cared for?
Richard: One of the top priorities on our farm is cow comfort. Our cows live in a freestall barn that is equipped to provide a climate-controlled environment that keeps them clean and comfortable all day long. Each stall is furnished with a waterbed and there are fans throughout the barn. There are also automatic alley scrapers that cleaning the barn continuously. We also work with a dairy nutritionist, so we know the cows are getting the right amount of nutrients each day.
Where do the calves live?
Phillip: We have 25 calf hutches, and each calf gets its own hutch and lives there for about eight weeks. This allows them time to build up their immune system before they are moved into a larger group pen. The calves will eventually be moved into our milking herd, so it is important they get the best start possible. With calf hutches we can ensure they are clean, safe and receiving proper nutrition.
How many team members does it take to get the job done?
Shawn: There are four full-time family members and two part time employees that help with milking the cows twice a day. And although there are family members with jobs off the farm, they still occasionally help out as things get extra busy, especially around planting and harvesting seasons.
Why do you love being a dairy farmer?
Shawn: Dairy farming is more of a lifestyle than a job. There’s something different every day – it’s hard work but it’s rewarding to see the calves grow into cows.