The Van Wezel Family
Dairy Farmers from Continental, Ohio
The Van Wezel family moved from the Netherlands to Putnam County, Ohio in 2000 to start Wezbra Dairy. Together with a team of 15 people, the Van Wezels get to do what they love and care for their 1,200 dairy cows who produce top-quality milk.
What has it been like to move from The Netherlands to Ohio?
Jose: We came to Ohio from The Netherlands to Ohio in 2000 because we saw an opportunity to do something we love to do: take care of cows. Our neighbors really respect us for coming here from a different country and leaving our friends and family behind to do our job. We get a lot of credit for that.
However, some people were skeptical when we first came here because they weren’t used to having a large dairy so close by, and we got a lot of questions. But we explained what our plans were and how we work, and they saw that our large dairy isn’t any different from a small dairy. We still need to take care of our cows and our environment in order to make it a success.
HEAR FROM THE FARMER
Hear Jose Van Wezel express appreciation for state regulations designed to keep her land and her dairy’s milk safe as possible
What does being a responsible farmer mean to you?
Jose: The cows always come first. When we are hiring people, the most important thing we look for in them is that they understand they need to care about the animals. It’s a tough job and it’s seven days a week. You can’t work like that if you don’t care about the animals. I can teach anybody how to milk but if they don’t love the cows, then it won’t work.
How are you involved in your community?
Jose: We have three children and they are all really active in sports. We love to play sports and we’re very involved in soccer. It’s fun to watch our kids playing in their games and it’s a healthy thing for them to be involved in.
We also love to have the community organizations come tour our dairy because it’s important for them see what goes on here. People often see milk and think it just comes from the store, but it all starts with our cows.