Farmers: Hickory, Erin, Emerson and Finley Daniels
When was your farm established?
Hickory Hill Dairy was established in 2008.
How long have you shipped to Decatur Dairy?
How many cows do you milk?
How many family members work on the farm?
Two (Hickory and Erin)
How many employees do you have?
Two full-time, four part-time
What is some interesting technology that you use around the farm?
Brown MidRib (BMR) corn silage is one technology we use. We also use very little alfalfa in the diet for our animals. The cows are fed more of a grass-based diet using oatlage, ryelage and annual rye grasses. We have also used solely genomic bulls for our breeding program for six years now.
What is your milk made into?
Cheese at Decatur Dairy
What it your favorite dairy product?
Hickory - Colby Swiss
Erin - Smoked Mediterranean Herb Havarti- Erin
Kids - Chocolate milk and cheese curds!
Where do you see the future of your farm?
We want to continue to grow and fill our barn that we are wrapping up construction of. Long term, we would like to give our kids the opportunity to return to the farm if they would like to. We would also like to add acres on the crop side.
What is your favorite job on the farm?
Hickory enjoys making high quality forage and TMR for the cows. This would include growing, harvesting and mixing feedstuffs we produce to feed our cows. Erin enjoys seeing all the hard work during harvest pay off as the cows perform well and stay healthy throughout the year.
What are you most proud of?
We have built a modern farm that someday we hope our kids will have a choice to be a part of. We have grown the farm completely on our own and started from bare land in 2008 with a vision.
Is there someone that has influenced you and your farm’s success?
Erin has been extremely integral in the success of the farm. She has a great business mind set and helps keep me (Hickory) grounded in all farm decisions.
What is something you think is important for customers to know about your dairy farm?
Our modern freestall barn and milking parlor enable us to provide top-notch care for our cows and young stock. Just because a farm has modernized their buildings and equipment and hired employees does not mean their cows are not still the number one priority. Our cows are our top priority. Our farm is family owned and operated with family members on the farm every day right alongside our employees. One perk of being an employee of Hickory Hill is the chocolate milk we provide for our team every day. We want our employees to have healthy bones and reap the benefits of consuming dairy products, too!