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I belong to... DCHA: Amy Shiplett

PD staff Published on 15 March 2011

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Age: 34

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Location: Chilton, Wisconsin

My dairy’s history: My parents owned and operated a 70-cow dairy farm until 1994, when they transitioned to raising replacement heifers. They were one of the first replacement heifer farms in our area. Five years ago, I joined the farm operation and we formed an LLC.

I am very proud to be a third-generation farmer, but couldn’t do it without the help of my mom, Gertie, who does all the farm bookwork and my husband, Brent, and our three full-time employees, who help me keep the operation running day-to-day.

If I wasn’t a dairyman, I would … still be working with animals. I love coming out to the waiting animals each morning. I enjoy working with and caring for animals, so if I wasn’t in farming I would most likely still be working in a field related to animal care or welfare.

I enjoy the dedication and commitment it takes to work with a living thing that needs our help for survival.

I have been a member of DCHA for ... 4 years

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I joined DCHA because ... I was craving information, standards and networking relating to our custom heifer-raising business. There are mountains of information regarding calf and heifer raising.

DCHA has been able to complement that information with written standards and networking opportunities to make the mountains of calf and heifer raising information relevant and obtainable.

I also wanted to be able to be the “best” at what we do and DCHA has given me the opportunity to compare our operation to others to understand where and how we can improve our processes and facilities.

My favorite DCHA representative/friend is the entire DCHA Board because ... they are just as committed to the future of farming as I am. Each member is very passionate about the farming business they are involved in and sustaining DCHA and the future of farming.

What DCHA does best is ... set gold standards for calf and heifer raising and provide the networking and resources necessary to achieve those standards. DCHA has published two sets of Gold Standards relating to calf and heifer raising that can be used to benchmark any business raising heifers or give guidance for operational improvement or expansion.

I feel valued as a member when ... I am able to provide information to other members or producers so they can achieve their goals in calf and heifer raising and business management.

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I had the opportunity to join the DCHA board of directors for leadership training this year and was very excited to see how the board operates and that they truly value member input. The entire organization is very passionate about the future of farming in America.

An influential person whom I’ve met through DCHA is ... Vita Plus calf care specialist Ann Hoskings and St. Nazianz Milling animal nutrition consultant Stacy Schwoerer

They are helpful/influential because ... they are extremely knowledgeable in calf and heifer raising and are willing to share their experiences and knowledge with me. They have helped our operation to improve our processes and operational efficiency while improving calf health and comfort.

They have helped our operation form the team we need to keep our operation running smoothly day-to-day and continue to strive to be the “best” at what we do!

My worst struggle in calf raising is/was ... two years ago when I lost my Dad to his battle with cancer. My Dad was my role model and the rock of our business. He had trained me well, but I was not ready to lose his guidance and knowledge of the business.

I have met many talented and knowledgeable people through DCHA who have helped me continue to run our family farm operation.

I hope my dairy legacy is ... to be a strong advocate of farming in America. I have three young children and some of their friends have never set foot on a farm and do not understand the food they eat is not made in the supermarket.

Farming has dramatically changed since we milked 70 cows in the 1980s, and consumers are further removed from the food they eat. I feel it is very important for each and every farmer to be an advocate of our business, which is feeding America!

If I were running DCHA, I would ... continue setting standards for farming operations and offer the networking and resources needed to meet those standards. Just what is being done now!

My advice to all dairymen is ... to take it “one day at a time” and to enjoy what they do! PD

Dairy Calf & Heifer Association

16020 Swingley Ridge Road Suite 300
Chesterfield, MO 63017
1-636-449-5077 www.calfandheifer.org

The Dairy Calf & Heifer Association is the only national association dedicated to serving the dairy calf and heifer industry. DCHA strives to provide information, education and access to leading research and technology to help its members be more profitable.

DCHA members have the opportunity to network with producers, industry leaders and top academia to learn more about current issues affecting the dairy calf and heifer business. For more information about DCHA and the Gold Standards, visit www.calfandheifer.org or call 877-HEIFERS.

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