How much can you learn from a new farmer? The answer: a lot. The First Years is a podcast about the anomalies of American agriculture: first-generation farmers and the guts, grit, determination and business prowess required to be one. Here’s a quick tour of some of the tips and insights you’ll learn while you listen.
Tip 1: Run lean and mean
Krista Stauffer, a dairy farmer in Washington state, milks about 200 cows and raises four kids. She and her husband started their dairy in 2009, the worst dairy year in recent history. She says having to learn to make milk for low prices positioned them well for some of the challenges they face today.
Listen to her advice below:
Tip 2: Never, ever, ever give up
Kicked off her father’s farm in The Netherlands because “women can’t farm,” Anita Van der Laan came to America with her husband, cash and big dairy dreams. Featured in episode 7, Van der Laan has overcome challenges including a professionally devastating tornado on the farm and a personally devastating battle with breast cancer.
Listen to her story below:
Tip 3: Know when to talk turkey
Diversification works, says Wesley Kent, a Virginia farmer who started his farm with a 100-cow dairy in 2000 and has since diversified to include beef cows, 600 acres of crop and pastureland and two turkey houses. Kent, featured in episode 16, explains how he stair-stepped into a turkey operation in one of the turkey capitals of the world.
Listen to his story below:
Are you a first-generation farmer? Tell us why you should be featured in a future episode at www.dairyherd.com/InterviewMe