Lee Kinnard

“Ever since I could remember, I tagged along with mom around the farm. She was the cow person and taught me everything she knew. I was a good student, but when I started school at UW-Madison, I couldn’t wait to get back home, where you know your neighbors and where everybody stops and says hello when they pass each other on the road.

I came home after just a semester and jumped right back into the farm. We were milking about 140 cows, and I loved every minute of it. I already had lots of ideas of how to keep mom and dad’s progressive vision going while trying new approaches to provide our cows with the best there is in comfort and provide more jobs in our community. I also helped bring in one of the first cow care consultants, a dairy cow nutritionist. We were one of the first farms to do this and still continue to be progressive in making sure our cows have whatever it takes to make them comfortable.

As mom and dad discussed in the future, I told them, “I want to do this forever.” I’ve never looked back. After dad passed, it was Rod, Maureen, mom and me. Mom was my best friend and my greatest cheerleader.

I think she knew, just like I do, that I was born to do this. And, today, when I keep on trying to find a better way to do something, whether it is getting the best quality milk, or testing the soil to find the perfect nutrient balance, I think of her. I know she’d be proud of what we’ve built here. The look of the farm is changing, however mom’s values remain the same. “