The Herron Family

Dairy farmers from Salem, Ohio

Jim and Tara Herron are third generation dairy farmers. The family cares for 250 dairy cows and farms 1,000 acres at Cold Run Jerseys in Columbiana County, Ohio.

Why did you choose to become involved in dairy farming?

Jim: I always enjoyed working on the farm. I didn’t know if I wanted to make a career of it or not, but once I developed a passion for it and Dad instilled work ethic within me, I just decided it was something I wanted to do. I kind of fell in love with the cattle. I decided to go ahead and go to college for dairy cattle and I really enjoyed my studies, and I decided to come home and become the third generation.


Hear Tara Herron explain why milk safety is important to her and her family.

How do you manage manure on your farm?

Jim: One aspect of the dairy that can be challenging is manure disposal. We have a 1 million gallon pit where we store our dairy manure, and we have it pumped out 3-4 times a year. We have about 1,000 acres, so we have plenty of ground to spread all of the manure on to have a safe level of nutrients on the fields. Cold Run runs right through our farm, so we have to be very careful. We watch the drainage outlets and make sure that we’re not putting it on too heavily. I live on the farm, and my whole family lives on the farm. We want to be very careful with our manure application. We don’t want to cause any problems with drinking water or any excess nutrients in the soil.

How do you make sure the cows are healthy, well-cared-for and comfortable?

Tara: We all really like to watch the cows throughout the day. You can tell when someone is a little off-balance and needs some attention, so we try to pull that cow away from the herd. We also have a really good system in our milking parlor. It’s a leg band system read by bands the cows are wearing. It feeds through this computer system and it tells us “hey, this cows not right today.” Same with my calves. It’s the same way I am as a mom with my kids — I’m watching them all the time. I can pick up if someone’s personality isn’t the norm, and I try to get that taken care of quickly.

Herron kids walkign next to calf hutches

Learn more about the Herrons or meet more Ohio and West Virginia dairy farmers.