What The Next Gen Dairy Operators Want

Seminars are focused on it, kitchen tables bubble around it. How can we get the next generation involved in dairying let alone map a plan to incorporate them into day to day operations. Oh, and there’s the financial expectations!

Michelle Kohls from Gillett, Wisconsin, (pictured in the white at the Merck Animal Health forum) can tell you how challenging that path can be. She’s a “next generation” young dairy producer that didn’t necessarily see the curve in her career coming. Kohls went to school at UW-River Falls and was involved in dairy nutrition work after she graduated. Then she found herself engaged in an interesting conversation with her dad. She was excited about his vision for where the family dairy could go. They had some of the same ideas! In the end, the possibilities were more than she could deny, and they started plans to bring Michelle into the active operation.

One of the first challenges Kohls recognized was that reliable employees would be critical. She also saw a need for technology that would allow her to still have a good quality of life with a young child, and still make all the numbers hum with animal health and production. Kohls visited with Pam Jahnke and revisited the road that she took, back to the home farm.