We are excited to introduce you to MDI Coordinator, Minnie Ward who serves the Southeast region of Minnesota.
How long have you been with MDI?
If you have another job, what else do you do
Our family custom raises wet calves to 5 months of age.
If you are or have farmed in the past, are you a first generation farmer or what generation are you? Who farmed in your family before you?
I come from a long line of dairy farmers, born and raised on a dairy farm with my brother and his family currently dairying and my daughter & her husband also dairy in WI.
Why did you choose dairy farming for a career or what influenced your decision to be a coordinator with MDI?
I have done both, worked in the dairy industry with raising heifers on the side, days are full but very rewarding. Working in both ends of farming, it has given me many great opportunities to learn and to share with other producers.
What is your favorite aspect of what you do? What do you find most satisfying about your job as a coordinator?
Meeting the families I work with, gaining more respect every day as it truly is a occupation of passion.
What is your favorite dairy product or food/dish made with dairy?
Of course, ice cream! No specific flavor but ice cream anytime of the day works for me. A dish I make with dairy products is a Chicken Wild Rice casserole, lots of cheese and sour cream….
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Grand kids! My free time is enjoying and spending time with them. I also love to walk, a stress reliever for me. Gets me outside and fresh air helps clear the mind and allows me to ruminate ideas.
What invention/innovation/technology do you feel has been the biggest advancement in dairy farming?
Technology is cutting edge with robotics becoming a driving force in the dairy industry. There is so much to gain, data, efficiencies and life style. The integration of all the pieces you put together is amazing and how it all works seamlessly. Teat to teat- robotic milkers to robotic calf feeders, all tied together. Robotics on the calf side has allowed our family to have more efficiencies and better growth overall. We have come along ways in the last 10 years on calf housing and nutrition.
Stay tuned for more future Coordinator highlights next month. If you’d like to contact Minnie, call (507) 259-6534 or email: [email protected].