A New Day. Welcome to New Day Dairy, or I should say the beginnings of New Day Dairy. We haven't actually milked a cow yet but we have plenty of blueprints, forms, meeting notes, e-mails, and phone calls. A dairy farm doesn't just happen by accident, that's for sure, so we've been working hard to get everything prepared. Although intensive planning started almost 2 years ago, the foundation has been being built for years.
A new day is preceded by many other days that both influence it and form a foundation for what that new day holds. Although a new day can hold promises of change, renewal, and progress, the foundation and influencers of past days is most always evident. So it is with New Day Dairy. We're so grateful that we have a strong foundation upon which we are building!
Dan's great-great grandfather George Washington Bolin left Illinios in 1890 and headed west to Iowa, not in pursuit of better land but in pursuit of Dan's great-great grandmother, Margret Ann (Hickle) Bolin. He settled in a small valley near Beaver Creek just outside of Clarksville and they began raising a family on their small farm.
Throughout most of the first 70 plus years our farm was like most small family farms of the time, growing some crops & putting up hay to feed the animals that consisted of chickens, pigs, cows, and, of course, some horses to do the grunt work. Farming the land and caring for our animals has always been a way of life in our family, until it almost came to an end.
When Dan's dad, Dave, was only 13 years old, his grandfather decided it was time he took a job off the farm and became the postmaster in Clarksville. They still had a few cows but Grandpa Neil had decided that before winter they would need to sell them too; it was just too much to do anymore. Thankfully Dan's Aunt Sandy overheard Grandpa Neil & Grandma Mavis discussing that they would sell the cows and told Dave, who proceeded to tell his dad and mom that he would like to milk the cows. So at 13 years old, he took on the responsibility for milking & managing the cows on the farm.
While he was still going to school, he'd get up early to milk the cows before school and then milk again in the evening. After graduation he planned to stay on the farm, but a professor convinced him to attend Iowa State University, only a week before classes started. Mavis and his sister Barb were crucial in continuing to manage the farm and milk the cows while Dave was a college man, yet still coming home every weekend of course!
Four years later he'd managed to both convince his professors to give him a Dairy Science degree and convince Dan's mom, Pam (who was actually the neighbor girl), to marry him! They headed back Beaver Creek Farm to a new barn, constructed that winter, to continue their farming career.
Today that “new” barn is over 35 years old and although still chugging away and getting the job done, needs a lot of repairs and remodels to be able to fully meet the needs of the cows into the future. And 125 years ago, building in the valley near a creek was a good idea, but today when we're more concerned about water quality and planning & building for the next 125 years, building on a near by hilltop plateau, that overlooks the current farm, makes more sense.
New Day Dairy wouldn't be possible without the foundation that has been built the past 125 years. We're so grateful for the heritage of hard work, strong values, faith, perseverance, and love that we're now able to build on.
Since we've launched our website and Facebook page with a bang, thanks to all of our family & friends who are excited about New Day Dairy, I'm launching our blog earlier than expected! Right now you only have little bits and pieces about New Day Dairy and what we're going to do, but hopefully that picture will be filled out in weeks & months ahead as you follow along on our journey. Today I'm sharing a slightly edited version of the Executive Summary of our Business Plan.
New Day Dairy is a new farm on a new building site that is a spin-off of the existing 125 year old Bolin dairy farm. Our mission is to develop, milk, and bless both our cows and people. As Penn State University Site Evaluation for Dairy System states, we believe that “planning our investments to allow us to build toward our future, not just spend more money on continuing the past” will allow our farm to not just survive but thrive through another 125 years.
The global consumers of food continue to increase and are continually desiring more nutrient-dense, quality food sources. Milk and dairy products are a vital part of the this future food movement. New Day Dairy, LLC is moving along with the future of animal care and food production by embracing new technologies and combining those with established best practices for cow care and management. As a cooperative member of Swiss Valley Farms, our quality fresh milk will be processed into various products, most notably fine cheeses, that are marketed locally, regionally and increasingly globally.
Prices received for our milk have in recent history covered the extreme range of high and low. Input costs as well undergo major fluctuations. Entering 2015, margins are expected to be narrow for dairies, yet New Day Dairy, LLC believes in the long-term value of milk and is confident in its ability to be a “top-tier” dairy prepared to persevere though the swells and troughs of the markets.
Partnered together in New Day Dairy, LLC, Dan Bolin and Pete Jensen (Dan's grandpa) along with Dan's parents, Dave & Pam Bolin, offer a full spectrum of talent and experience that will serve this dairy well in a challenging, yet rewarding industry.
The nucleus of the milking herd will be brought from the Bolin's current dairy farm, Beaver Creek Farm. The current facility at Beaver Creek is where the replacement heifers will be housed for the first few years of establishment.
Another exciting opportunity for New Day Dairy is the growing agrotourism sector. Our barn will feature viewing into the barn from an attached office, hospitality, and living area. Maintaining a connection between consumers and the source of their food is the responsibility of all dairy farmers and we feel we're positioned to do that well in our new barn.
New Day Dairy is poised to continue, and improve upon, a family dairy tradition by utilizing the tool of automatic milking, focusing on top-quality care and management for developing productive, profitable cows, and embracing the value of relationships.
So hopefully that gives you a better understanding of what New Day Dairy is all about! Questions? Let us know and we'll answer them as we go!
Growing up a city-girl, after marrying my dairy farmer husband and spending a few years abroad, we came home to expand the family dairy farm and want to share our journey & farm life with you!