Blue Hill Farm
Family Members: Corinne and Bill Banker, and Bruce Banker – Bill’s brother
Number of Milking Cows: 200
"Bill has known he wanted to be a dairy farmer since he was 5-years-old. That has never wavered. He went to school to further his knowledge and build his network, but most importantly to learn how to learn. He knew that dairy farming would require lifelong learning to stay current in the latest and greatest. "- Corinne Banker
HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR COWS STAY COMFORTABLE?
We bed the cows weekly with beautiful beach like sand and clean their stalls three times a day. The cows have large fans regulated by thermostats to keep them cooler in the warmer weather. Calves and heifers are bedded with sawdust on an as needed basis, usually weekly, but sometimes more often depending on the weather. We work very hard to alleviate overcrowding in all age groups as well to keep animals comfortable.
WHAT MAKES YOU GOOD STEWARDS OF THE LAND?
My ability to read weather and soil conditions, and manage what I see. It’s my job to cultivate the soil so that it gets better over time which, in turn, make my crops better.
WHAT DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU, THE DAIRY FARMER?
We love what we do and if you’re ever driving by at 3 a.m., it would not be unusual to hear Bill singing as he feeds the cows. It’s his favorite time of day when he has the whole world to himself.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE COW’S NAME AND WHAT MAKES HER SO SPECIAL?
Dottie… she was named by our son’s fiancé, Deanna. She was the only cow named on the farm, that is until she had a heifer calf. Her calf’s name is Moose because, well, she is kind of a moose. She was always bigger than her herd mates right from day one. When Deanna comes back to the farm (she and Ben live in Colorado now), she can still walk into a barn and call Dottie by name and Dottie will saunter over. Deanna asked that Moose gets a little extra loving so she would be the same way.
Questions answered by Corinne Banker.