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A little more than 17 years ago, a young man from Holland came to the United States with a bag of clothes and enough money to buy 30 cows. Today, Johan de Boer, and his wife, Klazina, operate a dairy milking more than 1,340 cows in Dublin, Texas.

Johan grew up dairying with his family in Holland, and once he finished school, he worked for his father 70–80 hours a week. In Holland, land is expensive, making it hard to expand or buy property to start a new dairy. Since Johan had a...

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Second chances are rare, and members of the Hockett family is not wasting thiers.

In 2009, Keith and Herschel Hockett watched helplessly as the dairy their father started in 1946 in Randleman, N.C., hemorrhaged $70,000 a month.

“We were struggling with cash flow,” Keith says. “It was time to pull the trigger and start over again.”

The Hocketts reluctantly sold their cows and got their finances back in order. Nine months later, they started milking 45...

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Dave Morrill was 1 year old when his father bought Morrill Farm Dairy in Penacook, N.H. Eighty-eight years later, Dave still lives in the same farmhouse, and now the fifth generation of Morrills is learning life on the farm.

Since 1988, Dave’s son, Rob, and Rob’s wife, Sherri, have milked a herd of 100-150 cows and raised four children — Andy, Kimberly, Kevin and Ryan — on the farm Rob’s grandfather founded in 1925.

“I think it worked well because we were here, the...

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For three generations, the men who ran Double W Farm Dairy in Holyoke, Colo., focused on continuous improvement, investing in cow comfort and nutrition. Glenn Huwa with his brothers-in-law, Marc and Gregg Wailes, operate the 1,500-cow dairy and stay committed to those goals while they search for new ways to advance the operation.

Family members made strides toward improvement when they consulted with a nutritionist a few years ago. The nutritionist suggested big changes to the...

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