The Sparks Family
Sparks Cedarlee farm is owned by Ken and Kristen Sparks, along with a partnering brother and uncle. Ken and Kristen, along with their five children, care for 500 cows in southern Michigan. Ken’s brother manages the 1,600 acres of crops that are made into feed for their cows.
The Sparks family raises their cows on a pasture, and every day the cows get a new piece of land to graze. In the summer, the cows eat the grass from the pasture and also get a mixture of corn, hay, vitamins, and minerals before they are milked. During the winter months when the pastures are not growing new grass, the cows get a larger portion of their balanced mixture.
The milk from the cows at Sparks Cedarlee is picked up every day and taken only 30 minutes from the farm to the processing plant. Before the milk is made into delicious cheese or creamy butter, it is tested to ensure quality and safety.
The family was featured in a video series that introduced elementary children to Michigan dairy families. Watch this video of Ken talking about his role in caring for the cows and providing nutritious milk. And in this video, some of the Sparks kids shared what they like most about living on a dairy farm and their favorite dairy foods.
“One of the things I like most about being a farmer is the quality of life it gives me. I like to be able to see my kids learn. My hope for the future is that there will come a day where perhaps one of my kids will want to continue to farm. I want to do as much as I can now to put them in a position to do that if that’s what they would like to do someday.”
– Ken Sparks