Saturday, June 16, 2012

Donsons Farm/WIDA open house

Every year the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance puts on an educational open house at a dairy farm.  was originally run by my grandpa (Don) and his sons.  My grandpa died following a farming accident when my dad was in college.  My grandma and the kids ran it together until my dad (Terry) and one uncle (Kevin) took over.  After my grandma moved to town, my uncle and his family moved to the home farm.  I grew up on an acreage on the other side town.  Together my dad & uncle now milk 140 cows, raise their own calves, grow 550 acres of crops, and feed 500 hogs.

The open house was held on June 16 and consisted of a self-guided walking tour with informational stations about all aspects of the process from feed nutrition to final product.  There was a kids area with activities and KC Wolf from the Kansas City Chiefs was there for entertainment.  Guests were also treated to a free breakfast and virtual tour at the Agropur cheese plant that is located across the road from the farm.

I'm so proud of my dad and uncle and have a lot of respect for all the hard work they've put in over the years.  I experienced what the life of a dairy farmer is really like the summer I turned 16 when my summer job was doing the morning milking, feeding calves and power-washing the parlor from 6:00am-9:00am Monday-Saturday.   I would have loved to be there this weekend, but it just didn't work out since we live four hours away.  Below are some links to a couple TV news stories and some pictures courtesy of my sisters' blogs along with links to their posts.

My dad, grandma and uncle
My silly sisters sporting the sanitary blue booties.  My nephew is not impressed.
Nephew Ryan checking out the feed rations

My sister, Abbie, introducing my niece, Saylor, to a baby calf.

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