A Moment with Van Ruiten Dairy

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Dairy name: Van Ruiten Dairy
Location: Lingleville, Texas
Herd size: 400
Farm size: 200 acres

5 things I would like to accomplish in the next 20 years:

  1. Keep dairying
    “I moved from Holland and started my dairy just four years ago and have witnessed the severe ups and downs of the dairy industry over the last several years. The good times are great, and during the tough times, you have to cherish every day you get to do what you love and look forward to the better times. I enjoy doing all of the different things on the dairy, whether it’s cows or machinery. Twenty years from now, I hope to still be doing those things.”
  2. Grow slowly
    “Ever since we started our farm, we’ve been growing slowly. It was a big moment for us when our first self-raised heifer calved. I feel it’s important to invest in raising my own heifers so my farm can grow constantly.”
  3. Educate myself
    “I would like to learn more over the next several years, especially about how milk marketing works and what DFA does for us. I am involved in the Young Cooperators Program and am enjoying it. I would like to meet more young dairymen and visit other farms. I feel like we can learn a lot from each other.”
  4. Focus on farming
    “I recently moved my dairy to a new location, which has more land and opportunities. It was a big change to finally start raising my own feed. We strive to do our best concerning cows, whether it’s cow comfort, health, feed rations or milk production. We plan to stay on top of things with our herd, including new developments in the industry. However, over the next 20 years, I would like to also focus on farming more of my own feed so that we are less dependable on feed prices.”
  5. Enjoy life
    “Most of all, over the next 20 years, I would like to enjoy my family, friends and life itself. My wife, Linda, and I work very hard and do our best on the dairy, but we both feel that there needs to be a good balance. When we’re not working, we like to take time to visit family and friends and push ourselves to make the trip to visit my parents and siblings in Holland each year.”