Every morning, dairy farmer Corey Miller, a partner at Chaffee Farms, LLC, comes to the dairy in Barker, New York, and organizes the work that needs to be done for the day and checks on the herd. “No two days are alike!” Miller thinks people would be amazed if they knew the complexity of what farmers must do. “On any given day I’m wearing a human resources hat, I’m wearing a financial advisor hat. I’m juggling between caring for cows, crops and people,” Miller says. The farm has about 1,250 milking cows, which get milked three times a day.
Miller and his wife both have dairy farming in their blood. “I love being able to see my wife and our three kids, ages 9, 6 and 3, on the farm. That’s how I grew up, that’s how she grew up,” Miller says. His wife, a former nurse, now heads up the calf and heifer department, taking care of the animals just born and those who haven’t had their first calf yet. Getting calves off to a good start has a big impact on their future growth and health. “When we’re all at the farm and working toward a certain goal, there’s not much better in the world than that.”
One of the most interesting and unique things about dairy farming, Miller finds, is that no two farms do things the same way. “At the end of the day, we’re all making milk,” Miller says, “It’s just everybody does it their own way.”