Today my month-long series takes us to Philadelphia, Tennessee, visiting with 5th generation dairy farmer Ryan Bright. We’re celebrating the diversity of Agriculture by visiting with farmers, ranchers, and consumers from across the country and asking why they’re proud to be a part of Agriculture. Why are YOU Agriculture Proud?
I was at the grocery floor the other day grabbing a gallon of milk out when a friend of mine came around the aisle toward me. I was very proud to tell him that my milk now goes to both major brands they were selling that day. This instance is one of the great joys of being a dairy farmer: knowing that the fruits of your labor are right there on the shelf, in the frig, and on the supper table.
My pride in agriculture has something to do with history, too. Our farm is five generations strong and we’re working on the sixth. In the distant past we were more diversified in agriculture, but today our main focus is dairying. We milk around 100 holstein cows twice a day. While there are Jersey herds in East Tennessee, the black and white cows are the most common. Many of the dairy farms in the great Volunteer state have gone out of business due to financial reason or the aging dairyman. We’re happy that we have been able to keep our operation going.
Working with cows and land makes me ag proud as well. There’s a wonderful feeling about watching the progress that a baby calf makes as she grows into an adult cow to begin her milk production and knowing what steps you took along the way to make that happen.
I am ag proud to follow in my ancestors’ foot steps on the farm. I think there is something special about being in production agriculture and providing milk and other dairy products for people to enjoy.