We recently met up with
“Although dairy farmers are struggling in many parts of the country, business is booming at one dairy operation in eastern Iowa.
Dan and Debbie Takes of Takes Family Farm started milking in 1997 when they transitioned from a beef operation. Recently I talked with their daughter, Josie. She said six bankers turned them down when they tried to get funding to build a milking facility on their farm. They persevered: The seventh banker was willing to give them a loan. They started their new dairy with just 30 heifers; now they milk 150 head twice each day.
It wasn’t long before they had other enterprises in mind. The family was interested in adding a creamery to process their milk into sellable products, but during the first 10 years of milking, their six children were young and life was hectic.
Finally, in 2013, they purchased a building in downtown Ely, Iowa, renovating it between the morning and evening milking times. In 2016, Dan and Debbie’s Creamery opened, selling fresh cheese curds, bottled milk and ice cream in their first year.
Josie, who manages all of the creamery operations and sales and marketing, pointed out that farmers often live “day to day,” responding to unpredictable changes in the weather and marketing. But the creamery requires the family to have a different “business mindset” and plan farther ahead to manage their inventory.
Regardless of the business safety is a very important and something that the entire Takes Family takes very seriously.
- Posted by Josie Rozum
- On June 14, 2018
- 0 Comments