When I was 2 years old, my parents both worked as herd managers on successful dairy farms in central New York, but then, everything changed. They always told me that they got good at their jobs and then promptly got bored. They would spend their days off driving around, looking at dairies that were for sale, and dreaming of purchasing their own farm someday. Apparently having full-time jobs and a 2-year-old daughter just wasn’t enough work for them. One day they made the leap, bought a dairy farm, and were never bored again.
I grew up in the milking parlor, feeding calves, cleaning milking units with soap and a bucket, and dancing to the beat of the pulsator with my parents and siblings. Life on a first-generation dairy farm meant that on Christmas Day we had to do morning chores before we could open presents, and that every time I had a birthday party the cows got out. It may not sound like a typical childhood to some (it certainly wasn’t), and I may have protested it at times, but looking back it was awesome.
I was involved in 4-H as a teenager and loved showing Brown Swiss cows with my family. I was also involved with the Beginning and Junior Dairy Leader programs, high school musicals, sports, student council, and pretty much any leadership opportunity or extracurricular activity I could get my hands on. But, when asked for a fun fact about myself, regardless of the audience, I always said, “I live on a dairy farm.”
Fast-forward 19 years from the time we bought the farm and I am studying animal science at Cornell University, with hopes to work in public relations and communications relating to agriculture. I want to give back to the industry that I grew up in and share my passion with everyone I meet.
I am thrilled to be the editorial intern for Hoard’s Dairyman this summer. I grew up flipping through the pages of the magazine, studying for dairy bowl competitions and reading Young Dairyman articles. I grew to admire their work in the industry even more as I made my way through high school and college. I came to Hoard’s Dairyman for the first time at the beginning of my senior year of high school, and thinking back, I never would’ve imagined I’d actually end up working here, but I am so glad that I am.
Things certainly aren’t normal in the world right now, but when times get tough, I always look back to those times in the milking parlor when our radio was broken and we danced to the beat of the pulsator until we felt just a little bit better.