What can I say, I love cows! Taking over the day-to-day management of our family’s dairy farm was a natural fit for me and something I enjoy doing. And yes, I do have my favorite cows, but still enjoy watching all of them grow and develop – they all have individual personalities.
I’m the fourth generation dairy farmer in our family. My wife Amber and I, along with our kids Samantha and Logan, manage our family’s dairy farm located an hour and 15 minutes northwest of downtown Chicago. Our farm, known as Claretta Farm, began in the late 1960’s, and was named for my grandparents, CLARence and Virginia MaryETTA Mueller.
GOOD FEED AND COMFORTABLE BARNS MAKES COWS HAPPY
Our 200 Holstein cows, along with another 200 young animals, are housed in a free stall (or open-access) barn and can move around, eat, and drink or lay on mattresses in stalls at any time. Stalls are cleaned when the cows are milked, and fresh sawdust bedding is added every other day.
An animal nutritionist works to balance our cows’ diet that includes a mixture of corn silage (chopped up green corn stalks), hay, corn and roasted soybean in their free-choice feed. Milking happens twice a day in the barn, with large fans to cool the cows in hot weather and side-curtains which can be raised and lowered as needed to adjust for the weather. We believe that comfortable cows are more productive, so we’re always looking for ways to improve what we do on the farm.
QUALITY MILK IS OUR GOAL
Producing high-quality milk for consumers is something we constantly strive to achieve. Claretta Farms’ milk is tested at the farm and again at the processing plant to ensure high standards are met and milk is antibiotic free.
Our dairy is run in a way that consumers can be confident in both product quality and animal care.