We have done a few tours over the years for other dairy farmers, federal and state representatives, friends, and our own family. Up to this point, we have never really given tours to the public. We are excited to open up our farm to the community to share our knowledge and experience of what goes on from day to day in the dairy farm world.
There is a lot of misunderstanding among consumers when it comes to dairy farming. The main reason, in my opinion, is lack of knowledge for animal agriculture. The majority of people are many generations removed from the farm. Most people have never stepped foot on one. It gives us pride to be able to provide the experience to our community and surrounding communities.
There are some obstacles that I am sure we will face. While I attended YDLI (Young Dairy Leaders Institute), I learned what some of the hard questions might be and the honest and correct way to answer those questions.
We are aware that we might have to deal with people whose only purpose is to destroy the dairy community no matter what. We have also been trained in how to handle these situations to the best of our ability.
We continue to look at the switch to robots and tourism opportunity for the community as the best change yet. We are excited to share our lives and what goes on daily on the farm. From newborns taking their first breath to animals getting back scratches from the automated cow brushes to cows lying on river sand with cool breezes running through the freestall barn . . . we want people to see how comfortable and laid back our ladies have it!
Mark and Caitlin Rodgers are dairy farmers in Dearing, Georgia. Their “Father and Daughter Dairy Together” column appears every other Thursday on HD Notebook. The Rodgers have a 400-cow dairy that averages 32,000 pounds of milk. Follow their family farm on Facebook at Hillcrest Farms Inc.
Join us on Monday, August 12 for our next webinar
Lindsay Ferlito, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, will present “Monitoring and improving cow comfort in freestalls and tie stalls” on Monday, August 12, at noon (Central time).
Cow comfort has a huge impact on a dairy’s bottom line. Monitoring lameness and injuries helps producers identify management and facility factors that influence cow comfort, allowing them to make the right changes and see improvements.
Register at www.hoards.com/webinars.