Meet

The Rufener Family

Dairy Farmers from Mogadore, Ohio

Ken and Linda Rufener, along with their sons Mike and Ken Jr. and two grandsons, milk 650 cows and raise 4,000 acres of crops on Congress Lake Farms, a sixth-generation dairy farm in Portage County.

What’s it like working with your family on the farm?

Ken Sr.:  It doesn’t get any better than having your family close by every day. You can lean on them, and they can lean on you. Most workforces don’t have that.
Ken Jr.:  If there’s ever a problem we all work together as a team – it’s not just, “Oh, that’s not my department.” We all work together.
Linda:  Every day we have our main meal at noon. Whoever can be there, is there. I just think that that’s where I feel we’re truly blessed, that we can be together.

Why is protecting the environment important to you?

Ken Sr.:  We’d like our neighbors and everybody going up and down the street to know that we’re taking care of this land as best as we can. We’re drinking the same water you are, and we want it to be as clean as you do. That’s the job we try to do. Because preserving the land is our number one thing. No matter whether we have the farm two generations down the road, or our kids do, it’s going to be left in better shape than when we got it.

HEAR FROM THE FARMER

Hear why the Rufener family takes their responsibility of producing safe dairy foods so seriously

 Why do you think real cow’s milk is nourishing?

Linda: I don’t think there’s anything more natural than milk from a dairy farm. If you look at the added ingredients on labels, milk, whether it’s whole milk all the way down to any dairy product, there’s not a big, huge, long list of ingredients. To me, that is what I think people want and should pay attention to.

Do dairy cows like to be milked?

Mike: We milk three times a day here, so they’re getting milked every eight hours. They enjoy coming to the parlor, and a lot of times they’ll run right in on their own. They want to be milked and then go back out to eating again, like they do best.

Meet more Ohio and West Virginia dairy farmers