Day 8 of my 30 Days of “All Things Minnesota Agriculture” is Theresa Twohey and her family’s dairy farm located in Stewartvlle, MN. Theresa is Director of Communications for Minnesota Pork, which is how I come to know Theresa. And I must add that she does a wonderful job at Minnesota Pork. So that is why she is known as a “Dairy Gal in a Pig World.” Twohey Dairy milks about 300 cows. That I must say is a lot of cows! And a lot of milk! The farm is owned by her parents Ed and Sherri and Theresa, along with her four siblings, Eric, Tim, Jessica and Jacob. They all help out on the farm.
So how did Twohey Diary get started?
Her dad bought their farm in 1989 when he married her mom. When Theresa’s dad started milking cows, they had about 60 animals and her grandpa Frank farmed with them. When they expanded the farm to help support their growing family, her grandpa “retired”. But a farmer never truly retires. Her grandma and grandpa now raise their steers and grandpa, her dad and her uncle farm 1,000 acres of corn, soybeans, alfalfa and peas. Most of the crops raised go towards feeding their cows, but they also sell some as well. Their milk is sold to AMPI, where it is primarily made into butter.
The Twohey children are the 4th generation of farmers. Her grandpa still farms where her dad grew up and her great uncle lives on the farm that their ancestors settled on when they came over from Ireland and her dad farms that land. I absolutely love the rich history of their farm!
Social Media Site:
What is one interesting fact about your farm/crops/livestock/your business you would like to share.
“It takes less than 48 hours for milk to get from our farm to the store. Milk also travels less than 200 miles to get to the store, so the milk you buy at the grocery store is local. My family and I are proud of the product we produce and the care we give our animals. We love our cows and want the best for them.”
What is a most embarrassing moment you have had on the farm?
“One night dad and I were doing chores together and it was pouring out. We had one cow that was continually breaking the fence and getting out into the yard. About the 7th time she broke through the fence and dad and I were trying to get her back in, my dad slipped and fell face first into a pile of mud and manure. It was hilarious, but at that point, it would have been a bad idea to laugh. Later that night dad and I were able to laugh about it, once he had calmed down and the mud/manure had dried on his face. Not really an embarrassing moment for me, but it was very funny.”
What do you love most about farming/business?
Farming is all about family and that is what I love most, the opportunity to work alongside my family to produce food and care for our animals. I love my cows, each of them has their own personality and that makes it fun. For example, we had a cow named Pam who had to be the first in the parlor (where we milk our cows). If she wasn’t first she would either refuse to go in or she would jump around the entire time you were milking her.
What is one thing you wish consumers knew about what you do or your farm/business?
“I wish consumers realized how much care and effort goes into raising animals. There are videos that make farming appear cruel and impersonal, but those are rare cases. To the thousands of families that do this day after day it is more than just a job. We love our animals and we love the land. We want to do everything we can to protect both of them. We consume our own products, because we are proud of what we produce.
We also realize that nothing is perfect and we are constantly looking for ways to improve and I think that most people don’t realize that. We are constantly changing the way we do things for the betterment of our cows and our land.”
What is your favorite Minnesota location or a fun thing to do in Minnesota?
“My family loves the Minnesota Vikings. We enjoy watching the games every Sunday as a family, after we get home from church. When I was younger we would play football together before or after the game.”
Enjoy a couple more pictures from Twohey Dairy!