Visit to a Modern Dairy Farm
Editor’s Note: As part of our ongoing advocacy program, employees from our global headquarters in Indianapolis visited a nearby dairy farm to hear from a farmer and learn about their modern farming practices. One of these employees, Olga Kaufmann, shares her thoughts on the visit.
If you have not had the opportunity to visit Kelsay Family Farms, you are missing a lot! This was indeed a fascinating learning opportunity about the inner workings of a modern dairy farm business (and not only dairy). If you come from the farm background, this may be familiar to you. But for some of us here at Dow AgroSciences, whose closest encounter with a dairy farm business is a dairy products aisle in the grocery store, this was an amazing experience. After visiting the farm, I gained not only a better understanding, but a whole new appreciation for the amount of work, technology and dedication involved into putting that jug of milk on a grocery shelf.
Joe and Amy Kelsay were gracious and knowledgeable hosts, answering a multitude of questions from the visitors. Joe provided a great overview of the inner works of a dairy farm supplying milk directly to the processing facilities. While it takes just 2-3 days to get milk from a cow to a store shelf, the amount of work, logistics and coordination that needs to take place is truly mind-boggling.
As a mom, it’s wonderful to hear about how rigorous the system to ensure milk safety is. It was reassuring to hear from someone who was responsible for making certain my child’s milk is safe.
A private tour of the “Milking Parlor” gives you a glimpse of how truly complex it is to run a dairy farm. This isn’t just morning and evening chores. There is a constant rotation of cows through the parlor, and the farmers just don’t quit. I can work my job from 8 to 5, and then go home. For dairy farmers, the job is all day every day. I don’t think taking a vacation is really an option! The intensity of the business was very impressive, and something I really took away from my visit.
“Beyond producing food for people, the agriculture community has an important responsibility to listen to their customers, offer a transparent look at their daily activities and challenges and maintain an open dialogue with all stakeholders,” said Joe Kelsay. “I am especially encouraged to see Dow AgroSciences and others in the agriculture community – farmers, processors, food companies, and tech providers – find ways to empower each other to know and share more about how our food system works.”
The Kelsay family use their farm to raise awareness and educate schoolchildren, as well as those who are well past school age, about this business. Thank you to Dow AgroSciences for organizing this event! As an employee of this company, it is very empowering to be offered opportunities to gain insight into the industry that we work in. I am proud to work for a company that truly cares about educating its employees and giving us these valuable experiences.
You can learn more about Kelsay Farms by visiting their website.
Olga Kaufmann is a Marketing Programs Manager at Dow AgroSciences. Olga started at DowElanco Russia in 1995, and during her over 20 year career with the company held positions in Market Research, Field Sales and Business Services. Olga holds BS degree in Public Administration from Indiana University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University.