The dairy teams at Bonna Terra Farm, Spring Hope Dairy and Willow Bend Farm do an incredible job making sure the cows and calves are well taken care of, 24 hours a day. Whether it’s blizzard conditions at midnight, they are there. Whether it’s 100 degrees and 90% humidity at noon, they are there. Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, someone is there. In order to give the best cow care, our committed teams make these sacrifices. And without their dedication to doing their job well, we certainly wouldn’t have a dairy.
The team milks cows 3 times each day, feeds all cows, heifers and calves 2 times each day and monitors the whole herd for their health and comfort. At Willow Bend, during the day there are 3 people on the milking crew and at least 6 people on duty for the many other herd health duties. These duties include checking for sickness or physical ailments, vaccinating, providing vitamins and medication, monitoring pregnancies, and assisting with births, when necessary. Sometimes, the task at hand is simply to move the cows or calves where they need to be to get help. A veterinarian comes to the farm once each week to meet the herd’s latest needs. Every cow gets their feet trimmed twice each year.
While daytime milkers don’t usually do these tasks, the 3 nighttime milkers do take on some of these extra duties; especially in regards to newborn calves since those Mama cows are on their own schedule and don’t always wait for the day crew to arrive!
Our dairy teams include people of all ages and backgrounds. We’re proud to say that forty percent of our Spring Hope and Willow Bend dairy teams have been working hard at our farms for 10 years or more.