Meet Angie Hildebrandt of Hildebrandt Farms. Located in South Beloit, Illinois, this featured farmer’s family started milking cows in 1981. Today, they have grown their operation to 900 cows and 2,000 acres of cropland. Currently, there are three generations on the farm. Angie works alongside her grandma, uncle, parents and three brothers.
Angie’s love for the dairy industry has always been a part of life. She grew up helping with chores, and after graduating from University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2016, Angie returned to the farm where she continues her family’s legacy. Angie’s favorite part about being a farmer is working with her family and the animals every day.
One of the major challenges Angie sees as a dairy farmer is the uncertainty of milk prices, coupled with working long hours and the public’s perception dairy farming.
Angie is part of the Midwest Dairy DEAL program. She says “The DEAL program has been a great experience thus far. We were the first group of farmers to take part in the program.”
“During the meetings, we learned about how Midwest Dairy functions and how and why they make some of the decisions they do,” she says. “We also learned team building techniques that could be taken back and used while working on the farm.”
Angie wanted to be a member of the DEAL program to learn more about Midwest dairy and how checkoff money is used. She was also excited to meet other young farmers in the dairy industry that she shared something in common with. Angie says her participation in DEAL has impacted the way she operates.
“I think being involved in dairy leadership has made me more aware of the larger picture,” she says. “It has also made me more confident when talking to consumers because I know there are people who want to know where their food comes from, and why we choose to make each decision that we do on the farm.”