It’s time to head to River Falls, Wisconsin and meet Craig Swenson (age 40). Craig and his wife Sara have two sons, John and William. They have 54 head of named and registered red and white cattle that are milked in a tie-stall barn. They grow corn, oats and hay and the cows live on pasture during the summer. Milk from their cows goes to Hastings Creamery in Minnesota where it is sold as fluid milk.
Growing up, Craig was active in 4-H and FFA with meat animals (swine and steers) and his projects. In addition to farming, he is an artificial insemination (AI) tech that enjoys going to cattle shows and camping. His favorite dairy product is chocolate milk and favorite Thanksgiving meal is apple pie with lots of ice cream!
Craig’s Story in his own words:
Has your farm changed since you became involved? We added a total mixed ration (tmr) for when cows are in barn during winter and put in automatic takeoffs for milking. There are still four generations on our farm, oldest is 93 and the youngest is two.
Who is your favorite cow? My favorite cow is Moose. She had a moose on her side and was the first cow that my wife named and that John could milk, she was 15 and a half when we sold her. We had a professional photographer take pictures of her and they are in our living room!
Do you open your farm for tours or agro-tourism opportunities? Yes we do tours we give out hand outs and milk, cheese and malts.
Tell me a unique story about your farm. I met my wife at a farm that she was milking at and I did the AI work for.
What is one message you’d like to get across to the general public about what you do? That all milk and beef are antibiotic and pesticide free.
What do you hope for your kids or future generations on your dairy? I hope that one or both boys would like to farm on this farm and they both own their own cattle. That they can make a good living and have fun at the same time.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in getting into farming? It is both fun and hard work but it is a great place to watch your crops and cattle and family grow. You can also see wildlife during the day that most other people can’t.
Stay connected with Craig on on Twitter.
Craig, thank you for taking time to participate in our “Thirty Days of Dairy” series. If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to our blog (no spam, just an email when we post a new blog) so you don’t miss any posts
Earlier “Thirty Days of Dairy” features this month include:
Sarah & Andy Birch – Derby, VT – the dairy farmers that were my inspiration for the 30 Days of Dairy!
Melissa Collman – Boring, OR – an organic dairy farmer from the West Coast!
Macy Sarbacker – Belleville, WI – a blogger, editor and dairy farmer from American’s Dairyland!
Karen Bohnert – East Moline, IL – a very talented writer, Mom and Jersey lover from my state!
Lisa Myers – Hamstead, MD – one of my best friends that moved back home to run their dairy!
Rebecca Schlehlein – Platteville, WI – a dedicated farm employee that loves her Brown Swiss!
Heather Moore – Maquoketa, IA – Special Events Coordinator turned Dairy Farmer!
Katie Dotterer-Pyle – Union Bridge, MD – Spanish teacher and dairy farmer that makes sure her cows enjoy their stay!
Brent Pollard – Rockford, IL – an innovative dairy farmer who loves to tinker with things.
Krista Stauffer – Washington – a 1st generation dairy farmer and very talented AGvogate for the dairy industry!
Diane Loew – Byron, MI – a writer, blogger and dairy farmer from Michigan!
Nicole Fletcher – Southampton, MA – a Cabot Creamery dairy that milks Holsteins & Jersey’s!
Elinor Opitz – Maple Lake, MN – a young lady just starting her Ayrshire dairy!
Alise Sjostrom – Brooten, MN – one of the readheads behind Redhead Creamery!
Tara McIntosh – Ontario, Canada – our only dairy farmer featured from Canada!
Jenna Kilgus – Fairbury, IL – a Jersey dairy farmer that bottles their own homogenized milk!
Will Gilmer – Sulligent, AL – our only dairy farmer from the “south”!
Gene Zimmerman – Colby, WI – our only dairy goat farmer featured this month!
Darleen Moore-Sichley – Oregon – a Mom, AGvocate and Gurnsey dairy farmer!
Michelle Eilenstine – Mountain Grove, MO – a dairy farmer & University of Missouri grad!
Jenni Tilton-Flood – Clinton, Maine – a Cabot Creamery dairy that milks 3400 Holsteins!
Kalli Erhardt – Baldwin, MD – A Mom and dairy farmer!
For a listing of all the 30 Days Bloggers that Holly Spangler rounded up, visit here.