Working Together to Care for Their Cows « BackPrintEmail Friend
The Holle family is a multiple generation dairy family that owns and operates Northern Lights Dairy near Mandan, North Dakota. From their humble beginnings milking 15 cows many generations ago, the Holle family dairy has moved through a variety of sizes to the purchase of Northern Lights Dairy nearly a decade ago to support future generations joining the farming operation.
Today, Northern Lights Dairy has a milking herd of 600 cows, along with a custom chopping, trucking and manure pumping business. The family’s success is spelled out in terms of its fine-tuned management team led by Kenton and Bobby Jo Holle, and their three sons: Andrew and his wife, Jennifer; Micheal, and his wife Amber; and James.
The Holles’ goal is to produce a highly nutritious, safe product that is beneficial to the consumers, the community, the family and the cows. Kenton Holle can easily repeat the farm’s mission statement, saying “We want to maintain our dairy-farm heritage to keep the legacy going for generations to come.”
Striving to be the best at what they do, the Holle family puts cow needs and comfort at the forefront of their daily to-do list. “Imagine yourself laying on a beach,” says Jennifer. “This is how we want our cows to feel.” The milk cows are housed in a free-stall barn, where cows can move around, eat and drink, or lay in stalls at any time. The stalls are bedded with 12 inches of sand. Cows are milked three times daily.
The people at Northern Lights Dairy firmly believe that if cows are not comfortable, then they will not produce well. “You take care of them; they will take care of us,” states Andrew. The Holles see each cow as a partner and a valuable investment. The dairy atmosphere is positive, as the Holle family and its team of employees strive to make sure that they’re doing everything they can to make sure that each cow is happy, comfortable and feeling relaxed. “We work extensively with our team of employees on respecting the cattle,” says Andrew.
The Holle family has no regrets about expanding the farm, especially since it has given them the great opportunity to work side-by-side as a family, doing something about which they’re extremely passionate and proud. “I love that my family gets to experience all of God’s wonders together,” says Andrew. “From a new calf taking its first steps to being able to put the chopper away after a busy fall harvest, we get to marvel in the miracles of life every day and be able to see it firsthand, and most importantly, we get to experience it together as a family.”