When I introduce myself for different events or give my bio, I usually start by talking about how I hope to change people’s misconceptions about dairy farmers and farming in general. I say something along the lines of how people tend to think of farmers as old men in overalls. And how surprised consumers are when they see me, a young mom and an educated woman who is also a dairy farmer.
Our Family Dairy Farm Heritage
Well, I wanted to say that there is nothing wrong with those old men farmers in overalls. And all of us youngins’ have learned a lot and continue to learn from them. Most of those “old men” taught us almost everything we know and built the foundation of where we are today. One of the those “old men” was my Papa. He and my Oma came to America from Holland with two suitcases and $700. He always told the story of his first date with my Oma. She was the only woman he met who was crazy enough to move to America with him. He fell in love with her that day and their dream of a better life.
My family is a family of immigrants. Leaving their home country because they wanted more; more than the Netherlands could offer them. They wanted the American dream. My Papa was one of the bravest men I know. He left everything he knew to come here to start a new life. He built our family farm from nothing. This is a man who never made it passed the 6th grade. He spoke no English and had next to nothing when he got here. But with a lot of hard work and determination, he made it. I am forever grateful for all he did for this family. And I am so proud to carry on his legacy through my family and our dairy. I know dairy-farming has changed a lot since his days, but I hope that he would be proud of the changes we have made and where our industry is today.
A look to the future
People are always say farming is more than a job, it’s a way of life. As a fifth-generation dairy farmer, I believe dairy-farming is our passion, our life, and our heritage. And as we look to the future of what is to come and the hardships we will face, I am reflecting on the past and what our grandparents had to overcome to pave the way for us. I know our dairy industry will continue to change just as it did for our grandparents who had to move across an ocean. My hope is that we will embrace our future with the same determination as our grandparents. And while we reflect on the past, we must continue in our forefathers’ footsteps of always moving forward and bettering ourselves and our farms.
Udderly in love with our family heritage,
New Mexico Milkmaid