Being in the business of dairy farming is not a whole lot of fun these days. With the current price of milk, many of us struggle to pay bills or even survive in the industry.

Wegner annaliese
Dairy Producer / Ettrick, Wisconsin

But we keep going. We keep doing the best we can to make it through this tough time. Why? Because dairy farming isn’t just a job to us: It’s our life. During these trying times, I think it is important to ask yourself, “Why?” Why do you do what you do? What gets you out of bed every morning? Sure, making money is nice, but for most of us, dairy farming is more than a dollar. I would like to share my “why” with you.

1. It is in my blood.

I was born into a dairy farming family, and at a young age, my sisters and I were on the farm feeding and caring for our family’s animals.

I was lucky enough to work with and learn from, not only my parents and grandparents, but also my great-grandparents. It is the lessons they taught me and the passion they showed me that made me want to carry on the family legacy of caring for the land and animals. I farm because I want to make my family proud.

2. It is important.

People need to eat. What I do every day helps feed the world.


“My grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher, but every day, three times a day, you need a farmer.” —Brenda Schoepp

I know that my job means something and that I can help families all over the country and world. I think it is really cool that what I do, what I work so hard for everyday, ends up on a dinner table somewhere and brings families together. By caring for dairy cattle and producing milk, I am able to provide nutrition for thousands of families. I farm because I want to help people.

3. It is what I love.

I love that my job allows me to be outdoors and work with family. I love that I get to care for animals. I love that I don’t have to sit in a cubicle all day and that I don’t have to wait until dinnertime to see my husband. I love seeing my calves grow into strong milk cows. I love that my cows can’t talk back to me. I love watching our fields turn from dirt to green waves of corn. I love that my job requires brains and physical labor. I love that I don’t have to do my hair every morning (even though, sometimes, I still do). I love seeing the fruits of my labor. I love that I will be able to pass our farm onto our children. I love that every day is different. I farm because I love it.

Long story short, I farm because I believe in hard work, agriculture and providing families with safe, affordable dairy products. I believe in family, love and passion, and my job encompasses all of these values. Why do you do what you do?  end mark

Editor’s note: Walt Cooley recently challenged readers to find their dairy’s “why.” Check it out here.

Annaliese Wegner