It’s my honor to introduce Ms. Stephanie Aves (age 25) from Belmont, WI with her farm being located in Poplar Grove, IL. I know Stephanie from showing cattle together at the Illinois State Fair and she is the talented individual that created our farm’s logo! Steph farms with her parents, Kevin & Julie Aves, and brother, Kyle Aves, who also works independently doing different side jobs. In addition to the dairy, Ms. Aves is also the Agriculture Teacher at Warren High School in Warren, IL. Not shying aware from a challenge, Steph is starting a brand new agriculture program and FFA Chapter.
Growing up, Stephanie was active in both 4-H and FFA and received the highest FFA degree awarded to an individual, her American FFA Degree and was the Section 6 President in 2006-07. After high school, Steph attended the University of WI-Platteville and majored in Agriculture Education. When not working with her cows or teaching agriculture (not sure if there’s any time left), she enjoys spending time with friends, shopping, relaxing, and sports.
ST-YLE Holsteins is currently milking 40 head of registered Holsteins, red & whites, jersey, and brown swiss. They have a stanchion barn that was rebuilt after a barn fire in 2002. The cows are housed in a large bedded pack shed where they have a TMR mix and grass hay at all times. Their milk is sold to Midwest Dairyman’s Company, a co-op in Rockford, IL where the end product varies depending on who buys the fluid milk. Want to know even more about Stephanie, check out this article from the Bullvine.
Stephanie’s Story in her own words:
When did you start farming? What brought you into farming? I was brought into farming from the beginning of my life. Growing up I was involved in the day to day operations of our family farm.
What has been the most rewarding part of farming for you? The most rewarding part for me is seeing the changes and developing the cattle we own and house. Being a small herd we are able to have an individual plan for each animal. The most rewarding part is seeing each animal development and the success each of them can have from generation to generation.
Who is your favorite cow? Scenic-Edge Joyful-Red-ET gets the edge as my favorite. Joyful has been the foundation to my herd and the name ST-YLE Holsteins. Joyful has been a success story from the go being named the Junior Champion at the World Dairy Expo and then Supreme Champion of the Junior Show. Joyful has created many All-American and Junior All American nominations along with a winning senior Best Three Females at World Dairy Expo that were full sisters.
What is one message you’d like to get across to the general public about what you do? Being an Agriculture Teacher and a farmer, I see the misconceptions that people think of a farm and specifically a production farm. I wish they understood and were able to see what happens daily on a family farm. I think this would change the misconceptions that farmer’s abuse, mistreat, and disrespect the animals. Sometimes I think my cattle have a better life then I do!
What do you hope for your kids or future generations on your dairy? My hope for the future generations is that they are able to continue as a family farm. As land cost and expenses are growing and prices of commodities are lowering its getting harder and harder for the small family farm to be able to continue and be successful.
Stephanie, thank you for taking time to participate in our “Thirty Days of Dairy” series.
Entire “Thirty Days of Dairy” Series:
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 Ehrhardt – Baldwin, MD – A Mom and dairy farmer!
Craig Swenson – River Fall, WI – a dairy farmer who loves his red & whites!
Katie Harris – Washington – a mom & dairy farmer from Western Washington!
Annaliese Wegner – Ettrick, WI – the Modern-day Farm Chick!
Morgan Kliebenstein – Darlington, WI – a dairy farmer, Genex employee, Mom & wife!
Matt & Joe Engel – Hampshire, IL – the brother behind Luck-E Holsteins!
Stephanie Aves – Popular Grove, IL – a dairy farmer & agriculture teacher!
Beverly Donovan – Benton, Maine – a dairy farmer & accountant!
Sadie Frericks – Melrose, MN – a dedicated AGvocate, dairy farmer, mom & wife!
Greg Schulte – Darlington, WI – the cheesemaker at Brunkow Cheese!
Katie Deslippe – St Mary Ontario – a young lady that loves everything about dairy!
Carrie Mess – Lake Mills, WI – the well-known AGvocate Dairy Carrie!
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For a listing of all the 30 Days Bloggers that Holly Spangler rounded up, visit here.