Many members of the Brock family work together in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to care for their 900 dairy cows.
Fun Fact: The Brock family splits their time between the barn and the basketball court, with three family members coaching local youth basketball teams.
The de Jong family in southwest Michigan works together to care for their 2,000 dairy cows.
Fun Fact: Bas and Laura de Jong’s three children are all active in several sports, including soccer and snow skiing.
Three generations of the Horning family care for their 300 cows in Southeast Michigan.
Fun Fact: For the past 130 years, the Hornings have farmed the same land, which overlooks a nearby lake. With 200 residents living on the lake, the Hornings are conscientious of their farming practices and strive to be good neighbors.
At Once Upon a Dairy in central Michigan, the Keilen and Trierweiler families care for 450 milking cows.
Fun Fact: Both families’ young kids can be seen shadowing their parents around the farm. You can shadow the families, too! Follow Once Upon a Dairy this summer as they walk us through the steps to grow the feed for their animals in the #WhatMICowsEat series.
Ashley Messing-Kennedy and her family care for their 240 dairy cows on their farm in the thumb of Michigan.
Fun Fact: Ashley Messing-Kennedy, of Messy Kennedy, balances being a first-time mom with blogging and dairy farming. Learn more about Ashley and her family, and follow her story as she shares #WhatMICowsEat on the Milk Means More blog.
Three generations of the Nash family care for nearly 400 dairy cows on their farm in central Michigan.
Fun Fact: Dwight and Gwen Nash met in Future Farmers of America, and their children have continued the family’s tradition of involvement, with the fourth generation now active in FFA. In addition to caring for their cows, the Nashes also harvests maple syrup on their farm every spring.
The Okkema family in central Michigan care for over 400 dairy cows.
Fun Fact: Michigan dairy farmers Ramona and Tjerk Okkema aren’t originally from Michigan. Ramona’s family owned a greenhouse in New Hampshire, and Tjerk grew up on a dairy in the Netherlands. They met through a 4-H exchange program when Ramona went to Holland for the summer.
Three generations of the Preston family work together to care for their 700 dairy cows in southern Michigan.
Fun Fact: Carrie and Brian Preston met at MSU’s Brody Hall cafeteria. Together, they’re raising three boys. Brian is a fourth generation dairy farmer and Carrie is a high school agriculture teacher.
The Rasmussen family works together to care for their 900 dairy cows in central Michigan.
Fun Fact: Hillhaven Farms Inc has been in the Rasmussen family for four generations. Mike and Sonja have been 4-H leaders for over 15 years.
The Reid family in the thumb of Michigan cares for over 200 dairy cows.
Fun Fact: The Reid’s farm has several solar panels that help power their dairy.
Four generations of the Siemen family have taken care of their dairy cows on the same land in the thumb area of Michigan.
Fun Fact: The Siemens live on the same land Darrin’s ancestors settled – over four generations ago. Dairy farming is a family affair, with the kids’ chores listed on the monthly schedule alongside the farm’s employees’ responsibilities.
Three generations of the Stakenas family work together in western Michigan to care for their 500 dairy cows.
Fun Fact: At 90 years young, Ed Stakenas still cooks lunch for the farm team every day.
The Tubergen family in central Michigan works together to care for their 900 dairy cows.
Fun Fact: The Tubergen family celebrates the holidays by dressing up their calves and featuring them on the farm’s Facebook page – Tubergen Dairy Farm LLC.
The Weiss family in the central part of Michigan cares for 60 dairy cows.
Fun Fact: Each year, the Weiss family creates a unique corn maze and opens it to the public! Find them at Frankenmuth Corn Maze. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to catch a German pretzel making class!
The van den Goor family in the thumb of Michigan work each day to care for their 3,000 cows.
Fun Fact: The van den Goors moved to the U.S. from the Netherlands and started a dairy farm in Michigan after touring many other states. They love being involved in their community; mom, Gertie, is a trained nurse and volunteers weekly at the local hospice residence, and husband Geert has a special place in his heart for the Freedom Riders, a horseback riding program for children and adults with special needs.
Members of the Vanderploeg family work every day to care for their cows in central Michigan.
Fun Fact: In 1991, Klaas and Mares Vanderploeg moved from the Netherlands to Michigan and started milking 190 cows. Today, they milk over 3,000 cows together.