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Dairy is a Family Business


Make us Part of your Family

If you watched the 2012 Superbowl last Sunday, you might have seen one of the happy California cow advertisements. These are ads paid for by all California dairy families throughout the state. Every gallon of milk produced in the state of California helps pay for the advertisements. The theme of the ads are “make us part of your family.” All the clips are pretty funny so if you haven’t seen them, you can look them up here. Click here to watch the make us part of your family ads.

I guess what the point the ads are trying to get across is that milk is produced by families, and enjoyed by families everywhere.

These new ads follow some previous advertisements that highlighted various dairy families in the form of short documentaries. Every dairy operation is unique, and these ads highlighted the differences of the different dairy farms. Some dairies graze their cows out on the pasture, while some dairies keep their cows in the barn protected from the elements. Whatever the case, you meet the family behind the dairy farm. Click here to see the documentaries about California dairies.

A Family Oriented business

Dairy is actually a very family oriented business not just in California, but across the entire U.S. Just about everyone I know involved in dairy has, or comes from a family operation.

There is a myth out there saying that dairies are large factory operations run by large corporations. This is simply not true. In fact, a study was done in California that showed that 99% of the dairies in California are owned by family businesses.

My Family

Our dairy farm is definitely an affirmation of the study’s findings. Like so many other dairy farms in California, our dairy is family owned and operated. My grandfather started our farm, and naturally it was passed on to the next generation.

My family is very involved in the dairy. I have 3 brothers, and 4 sisters. All are very involved in the dairy. The girls love taking care of the baby calves. It’s a lot of work taking care of the babies. The calves take a lot of patience and nurturing to raise. My sisters do a great job taking care of them. Me and my brothers take care of the cows. The cows definitely require a lot of attention. Unlike farming which is seasonal, dairy work is a 24 hour a day job 7 days a week. I’m just glad I’m in a large family, and don’t have to do everything myself.

I grew up working at the dairy. My mom was the main calf feeder, so naturally I had to go along and help. I can remember when I was younger, walking down the rows of baby calves with my nipple bucket looking for the calves that needed help drinking. When I found one, I would pour the bucket of milk into my nipple bucket and help the calf drink. I helped feed the babies every day, twice a day until I was old enough to do other things at the dairy. All my brothers and sisters started working the same way. In fact, my youngest brother, who is 7 years old, is busy feeding the babies these days.

Of course, it’s just not our family that runs the dairy. We have employees that also help take care of the animals. We employ many people from our local community. These people have basically become part of our family. They also really love taking care of the animals. It take a lot of teamwork to get things done.

Consider all this the next time you buy milk in the store for your family. When you buy milk, you’re not just supporting businesses, but your supporting the real farm families behind the product.


  1. This is a very clever thing to do. Great PR. I would buy your milk, but shun many others due to animal husbandry concerns. You’re right though. The common perception is that cows are milked to death (literally) and babies are dumped aside. Very sad.

    • I’m hoping that people realize that those perceptions are not the norm. Dairy farmers are animal people who love their animals. If it wasn’t true, they wouldn’t be doing it. There are much easier ways to make a living.


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