This month we meet Amy Hoying, a Midwest grower from Columbus, Ohio. Amy grew up on a beef cattle farm just northwest of Columbus, and has since transitioned to dairy farming after marrying her husband, Jason. Amy and Jason now live outside of Fort Loramie, Ohio, where Jason grew up.
The 500-acre Hoying dairy farm began with Jason’s father, who Jason has been farming with since he was a boy. In 2004, when Amy and Jason were married, Amy began helping Jason with operations on the farm, as well as working as an English teacher. There are many new and entirely different aspects to running a dairy farm as opposed to a beef cattle farm, and Amy has found much of it quite interesting:
"I'm intrigued at how our nutritionist formulates our ration--it's science at work. One tiny change to the diet can improve milk production or the cows' health. Farming is also unpredictable, and you really have to be flexible.”
Amy also admits that although dairy farming is an interesting and exciting way of life, there are difficulties that cannot be avoided.
“Our Holsteins need milked every day, even on holidays—there are no days off. You also have to be prepared for anything, and it’s stressful when your entire operation depends on factors out of your control (weather, too much rain, not enough rain, etc.).”
On top of managing around 200 dairy cows, Amy and Jason also grow corn, alfalfa, wheat, and some soybeans, all of which is primarily used for food for the cows. The wheat is planted as a cover crop in the Fall, and harvested for feed in the Spring. They then no-till their corn into the wheat stubble, and keep the remainder of wheat as bedding straw. They have a lot on their hands, and have to find ways to manage their operations in an efficient and timely manner.
“Morning Farm Report helps take some of the unpredictability out of the day—you can ‘check’ fields without physically going there, which is helpful when you need to know if you can get in the field,” Amy said.
Between juggling her career as an English teacher and her position on their farm, Amy finds that Morning Farm Report is there to help in her day-to-day decisions, allowing her the time she needs to focus on other aspects of her life.
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