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Anna Hinchley

00:02 all right and eventually so happy to 00:05 have you on the everyday enthusiast you 00:07 are quite you know distinguished here 00:10 I'm really happy that we have a more 00:12 younger perspective here from the it's 00:14 almost been like farming week here on 00:16 Tundra TV I've spoken with three farmers 00:18 in the last week and it's been really 00:21 fun I have actually become a much more 00:23 educated consumer here and I feel like I 00:27 just know so much more and so you are a 00:29 recent grad oh I can see the cows right 00:30 behind you oh wow that's crazy what a 00:36 good view so you just graduated are you 00:40 in the process of graduating from u-dub 00:41 I'm graduating I've already graduated on 00:46 the farm Wow so you know being a college 00:49 student when you come home from classes 00:51 and stuff are you you're still helping 00:52 out on the farm and everything yeah 00:54 you're expected to come home every 00:56 weekend and go out oh not not much just 00:58 party time but you know I get to work 01:01 with my family so that's great well the 01:04 cows of the family right they're just an 01:06 extension of it so you know I was 01:09 talking to a dairy farmer a couple days 01:11 ago 01:11 Amanda Amanda Freud I'm not sure if you 01:14 know her but you know she was saying it 01:16 was funny we're talking I was like oh 01:17 you must have you know these cherished 01:19 childhood memories working on a farm and 01:21 everything she was like I don't know 01:23 about cherish you know because it's like 01:26 as soon as I was like yeah so like you 01:29 know is it like when you get you know 01:30 done with the homework it's like all 01:31 right time to go on the farm mm-hmm yeah 01:35 that's pretty much what it is it's it's 01:37 just you get up before school you go out 01:39 and you do your chores and then you come 01:41 home from the school you do more chores 01:43 but you know I I'm super thankful that I 01:46 had these opportunities because it's 01:48 really made me an outstanding individual 01:50 great word that's it it's exactly what I 01:54 was about to say and then also working 01:56 with your family I know I'm sure like 01:58 you know you know families will find 01:59 everything but it's just so gratifying 02:00 I'm sure you know you look back it's 02:02 like you know the time that you spend 02:03 together it's like how many families get 02:06 to say that they work together you know 02:07 it's what you're really lucky you're 02:10 really lucky and 02:12 I was gonna say you know growing up in a 02:14 farm II must be kind of unique but I'm 02:16 imagining you growing up in Wisconsin a 02:18 farm there it's not exactly eaters are 02:20 probably a lot of dairy farms out there 02:22 near you right yeah there's quite a few 02:25 and so like what was that like growing 02:28 up like you know is everybody's got 02:30 their own farm and you know do you lean 02:32 on each other as a community for that 02:33 kind of stuff you know you know like 02:36 going to school there actually wasn't 02:38 too many dairy farm kids there were farm 02:41 kids who were like crap farmers wait I 02:50 mean most of my dairy friends they're 02:53 from a couple towns over and they're 02:56 pretty big dairy farms we're for one of 02:58 the smaller ones 02:59 we're only 240 cows where it's like all 03:02 my other friends they're like 2,000 cows 03:05 that's crazy that's interesting to me 03:08 that 240 cows is as small as a small 03:11 dairy farm now that's our average 03:13 response them really now and now would 03:17 you say like obviously you guys also do 03:20 cash crops and everything but for this 03:22 you know for the dairy obviously that's 03:24 like your specialty if you will like do 03:26 you kind of gain an emotional attachment 03:29 to these animals you know yeah we can 03:34 say they kind of almost like pets right 03:35 kind of basically right they really are 03:38 pets all of our cows are named and they 03:40 also have a number so yeah like we'll 03:44 have one her name will be Avalanche and 03:47 the baby will be named a but so that 03:49 name carries on throughout the heritage 03:51 soil RT like I know it was who and whose 03:55 grandmother was who and they are just 03:58 like big dogs pretty much now you also 04:06 grow you know for feed and then also for 04:08 ethanol now are you a part of like the 04:11 extraction process like how are you just 04:14 growing the crop for it or how does that 04:16 work yeah we just we just grow the corn 04:19 for it so yeah we grow the silage corn 04:22 for the cows we've grown about 400 acre 04:25 of that and then the rest of it is 04:27 progressed and all but we don't do the 04:30 extracting but still that's like you 04:34 know for a farm that you know would be 04:36 considered on a more small scale that's 04:38 you know for hardened to Baker's that's 04:40 that's quite a lot of land and I imagine 04:42 that it takes quite a lot of people to 04:43 take care of it right definitely 04:47 yeah so bringing that up it's my mom my 04:50 dad and I'm working on the farm it's mom 04:54 and me for the cows and then my dad he 04:56 runs the crap side I'll help cuddle self 04:58 and stuff when I have to actually he's 05:00 out right now cutting also hook but 05:03 otherwise it's not his uncle or his 05:06 brothers my uncles that are helping him 05:11 now what would you say are you know for 05:17 sustainability practices what what is a 05:19 you know cuz that's you know a lot of 05:21 things 05:21 farmers are I would say I was talking to 05:24 a farm dairy farmer last week and she's 05:27 taking so many practices you know of 05:30 solar panels kasha is a methane digester 05:33 things I've never heard of before her 05:36 you know it's so in it and I don't think 05:39 people really appreciate the effort that 05:41 the agricultural industry is putting 05:43 into that you know it's you know the 05:45 bigger companies you know of course they 05:47 get a bad rep but these smaller farmers 05:49 these mid-sized farmers they're really 05:51 putting in the effort to not only do it 05:53 you know because that's what's right for 05:54 you know nature and everything but also 05:56 for the next generation because they're 05:58 like you know your family business their 06:00 family business they care about doing 06:02 what's right and passing it on to their 06:03 kids yeah we all definitely care about 06:07 the environment actually one of my 06:09 specialties at school is sustainability 06:11 we right now we're implementing water 06:15 runways so that we don't have land 06:18 eroding or you know pesticides and 06:21 herbicides eroding into creeks and 06:23 whatnot all dairy farmers in Wisconsin 06:25 enough to have a manure management plan 06:27 and that's kind of a plan that you go 06:30 over with an agent and talk about what 06:32 you're going to be doing with that 06:33 manure and putting it on the fields to 06:36 make sure that it isn't running off then 06:38 causing phosphorous to get into lakes 06:40 and rivers and whatnot we are going to 06:43 be putting up a bunch of solar panels 06:44 too because right we we have a robotic 06:49 dairy farm so it's quite a bit of energy 06:51 yeah so right now the cows are being 06:53 milked by robots but like I said it's 06:55 light energy so the solar panels will 06:57 help that our how does that work a 06:59 robotic milking system I mean like that 07:02 sounds like something that that did must 07:03 not exist at a debt a decade ago I'm 07:05 assuming that's a relatively new event 07:07 and right am i right 07:08 no they've been around for about 20 07:10 years actually so it's kind of old 07:14 technology they're just starting to get 07:16 good though so farmers are just starting 07:17 and invest in them but yeah the cows 07:20 they run 24 hours a day they only shut 07:22 down for about an hour a day to do two 07:24 washes but the cows can go through up to 07:28 six times a day to get milk so it's just 07:30 much more relief for them and it's it's 07:32 a lot less pressure on their utters so 07:34 they can produce more milk instead of 07:35 holding it it's like it's like only 07:38 being allowed to go to the bathroom two 07:39 times a day 07:40 you're not just gosh these powers a 07:43 little bit more to go to the bathroom 07:45 but also leave six times a day and also 07:50 less manpower you know less work on your 07:52 end to do that that's we've got like I 07:56 said it to me and my mom with the dairy 07:57 farm part so the more automated we can 08:00 get because labor is kind of hard to 08:02 find especially for dairy industry it's 08:06 getting pretty rough well and it's a one 08:08 Wisconsin evening in wisconsin even 08:12 super hard so on trying to automate 08:15 stuff you know we got actually robotic 08:19 Roomba poop pushers that push poop 08:21 through the slats all horns 08:25 we got feed pushers that push up the cow 08:28 food so I don't have to do it so I can 08:31 spend more time being a manager instead 08:33 of doing those little jobs you know 08:35 exactly and so do you see like in a 08:38 decade automation really playing a much 08:41 larger role especially in dairy farming 08:43 but maybe just in general yeah 08:47 technology is just 08:49 amazing and if you're gonna be staying 08:51 in this very industry you really need to 08:53 be keeping up with that technology 08:54 because there is a lot of useful things 08:56 out there so don't be afraid to go on 08:57 Yuda like is it you know it's just gonna 09:00 keep getting more advanced so keep up 09:02 with it so when you were a kid growing 09:05 up in the farm or any of these you know 09:08 digital tools this animation was any of 09:10 that implemented at the time or was it 09:12 all the old school manual style yeah so 09:15 we actually just moved into this barn 09:18 about two years ago really this was kind 09:21 of my ideal like I said mom dad I really 09:23 don't want him to look like you guys are 09:26 milking we were milking about nine hours 09:28 a day milking 140 cows and a 73 Kowhai 09:32 stall parlor and I'm like I can't 09:34 physically do that I want to have time 09:36 for myself and I want to have a family 09:38 too so I'm like if I'm gonna come back 09:41 to this farm I'd like you to invest in 09:42 rollbacks for me and I was lucky enough 09:44 that my parents did so now we got all 09:48 this fancy technology but before I was 09:50 in a barn stripping out Powell was 09:52 putting the Machine on myself to work 09:55 school and after school 09:57 Wow and iNSYS being in that you 09:59 mentioned earlier you know the 10:01 agriculture was that related to what you 10:03 studied at in school or was that yes 10:06 tell me a little bit about that yeah um 10:08 so I got a degree in dairy science 10:11 Bachelors of Science but then I also got 10:14 a certificate in global health and 10:18 sustainability and so I'm certified in 10:21 that but then I also got an agriculture 10:23 business management degree that will 10:25 help me slowly take over the farm from 10:27 my parents so that they can retire and I 10:29 can build up this legacy 10:32 tell me again so what was the name of 10:34 that major dairy what was what was it 10:36 called Dairy Science know so I imagine 10:40 that not every industries got or not 10:42 ever excuse me every universities got a 10:44 Dairy Science think so now in Wisconsin 10:47 I'm assuming that that does must be a 10:49 very hard select few that are you know 10:53 chosen to get that to be allowed to 10:55 study that um actually you'd be 10:58 surprised there's not that many people 11:00 going 11:01 for that degree so they're interesting I 11:04 don't want to see that they're lenient 11:05 about letting people in but they want 11:07 people to be interested in agriculture 11:09 and and theory so you know the people 11:12 are going for dairy science are the farm 11:15 kids and the sadly a bunch of the farm 11:17 kids aren't returning to the farm 11:19 because like I said it was just too hard 11:20 to be milking it 11:21 maybe their parents can't afford 11:23 something that's nice that I have you 11:25 know so I don't blame them for not 11:28 wanting to do it but it's kind of a 11:31 dying green thing almost actually 11:33 uw-madison here they're getting rid of 11:36 the dairy science degree and they're 11:38 kind of doing an animal science very 11:40 science thing so instead of just 11:42 learning about cows and cow reproduction 11:45 and cow management we're also learning 11:47 like horse breeding and more stuff for 11:49 vet kids you know is that something 11:52 you're a fan of or you think that it 11:53 should be more bleeding towards the 11:55 dairy specialty 11:56 there's definitely there needs to be a 12:00 special pathway for the dairy kids 12:01 because there is so much to learn but 12:04 but I get that you can't make it 12:06 cost-effective for you know the 20 kids 12:08 in my class that were taking the degree 12:12 no you saying dying breed that makes me 12:15 worried do you go that does that caused 12:17 you concern you know thinking about the 12:19 next generation you know that people may 12:21 not want to get out on the farm yeah it 12:24 is sad I am concerned about the industry 12:28 I've lost many farming friends through 12:34 this Kovan deal we've had many farms 12:36 shut down there's something like 800 12:38 farms shut down last year in Wisconsin 12:40 because milk prices were so bad and we 12:43 just can't afford to lose any more farms 12:46 it's concerning I recently got engaged 12:50 but I went round Madison thank us I went 12:54 to Madison thinking I was gonna find a 12:57 dairy farmer to farm with me but they 13:01 got this stay on their own farms and 13:03 continued their own like Missy and I 13:05 because they're not gonna leave their 13:07 home farm and what their parents built 13:09 up to come to my farm and how 13:11 that just cuts down on one whole farm 13:14 that could be you know making milk and 13:17 continuing that legacy but I got a 13:20 plumber and tell me what what attracted 13:25 you to stay like I said I love working 13:30 with my parents this is a big that's a 13:33 big thing there's many benefits they get 13:35 lunch you know I get to go on living and 13:40 I'm one of our farm houses that I got a 13:42 redo but yeah 13:44 working with your parents it's unlike 13:45 anything else you can't really give it 13:47 the level of connection that you can 13:49 from like another job of your boss you 13:52 know and like me and my mom we just get 13:54 together and when you flow together when 13:55 were working together it's good you know 13:58 we know what we're doing so just very 14:00 efficient now you said the you know 14:04 unfortunately the corona virus and the 14:06 pandemic has really impacted your 14:08 industry would you say that that's been 14:10 really devastating right now or was it 14:13 more last year when the prices and that 14:14 price has happened you know so when this 14:18 whole covin thing hits milk drop to one 14:22 at the price of milk was in 1983 now 14:26 imagine pain or barn with all those 14:29 robots with those kind of milk prices oh 14:32 no little kids 13 we were barely 14:36 scraping by like I said my my one of my 14:39 friends didn't make it through it 14:41 but after graduating school came to the 14:45 farm here my parents decided to give me 14:47 three percent of that milk check that 14:50 was about nine hundred dollars and that 14:53 was two weeks worth of work and I can't 14:55 live off of that and that's exactly what 14:57 my dad made when he started farming with 15:00 his dad so if you would have asked me 15:04 when I was in high school what my kind 15:08 of career looked like in the dairy 15:09 industry I Otis said I want to go up to 15:11 five hundred cows and I'm gonna have 15:14 this big massive farm but after this 15:17 whole Corona deal you know farming 15:20 really is a gamble 15:21 and I don't know if I could handle five 15:24 hundred 15:24 with the fluctuation of that milk price 15:27 it's just too scary for me to think 15:31 about so I think what's gonna end up 15:33 happening is I'm gonna stick at this 240 15:36 cows it play it out until I get braver 15:38 we get something in stone that this is 15:41 later bottom milk prices you know you'll 15:45 be okay but that's that's that's 15:48 unfortunate to hear and so what would 15:53 you say what do you anticipate in ten 15:56 years what would you say the dairy 15:57 industry will be looking like that do 16:00 you see that there'll be more maybe a 16:02 more small smaller farmers or DC Baker 16:05 farmers kind of kind of taking over so 16:08 there's a lot of upfront costs when you 16:10 start a dairy farm or any farm in 16:13 general I've seen some friends trying to 16:16 start firms up on Facebook and they went 16:18 out during the corona deal sadly I think 16:23 it's just gonna get worse for small 16:24 farmers and less policies are put in 16:27 place to go and help them out a little 16:28 more otherwise everything's these big 16:32 farms but I think well for a lighter now 16:37 can you know because we mean let's let's 16:40 inspire some positivity here and I want 16:42 consumers to be educated you know I I 16:44 didn't I only learned this a couple days 16:46 ago that apparently every time you get a 16:48 gallon of milk that gallon of milk is 16:50 coming from no more than probably a 16:52 hundred miles 150 miles away from you I 16:55 did I never knew that I never knew that 16:57 and so I think dairy farmers are just so 17:00 underappreciated you know and we need to 17:03 shine a light upon them you know and I 17:05 hope that the the industry has a big 17:07 bright future mm-hmm yeah like you were 17:11 just saying with that Tom that milk 17:14 coming from about 100 miles away you can 17:16 double check that the first two numbers 17:18 on that milk carton or in your gallon 17:22 jug you can coordinate them so what 17:25 state you're in and what plant it came 17:27 from so if you wanted to look that up 17:29 you could be like hey I'm getting my 17:30 milk from right over there you can 17:34 report low poll exactly you might be 17:36 driving by the farm where 17:38 get your milk from everyday and you 17:39 don't even know it Wow alright well just 17:43 to wrap up here how would you say if you 17:47 can just give one tip for a farmer or 17:49 somebody who's wanting to maybe put on 17:51 take on those large initial costs to 17:54 start a dairy farm and try to do all 17:56 some sustainable practices what would 17:59 you advise them you know as a start-up 18:02 so there's definitely young farmer 18:05 grants that you can get through like the 18:08 Farm Bureau National Farm Bureau and 18:11 they'll give you answer loans that you 18:14 need to start out and they have many 18:16 many resources that you can get from 18:19 them to you know just kinda like budget 18:22 I guess and then also take advantage of 18:26 your extension agents because they're 18:27 super smart and very knowledgeable and 18:29 they're often overlooked for the people 18:32 who do have farms and do want to 18:35 continue farming but I would say you 18:38 know parents try to like you know cuz I 18:43 don't like the coronavirus is rough and 18:46 you know they're hairy farming is very 18:48 uncertain but if your kids passionate 18:50 about farming take that extra step and 18:53 and try to make it work for them because 18:56 we really do need them to make quality 18:58 Millikan food for all of us that's great 19:02 and support your local dairy farmers we 19:04 need more farmers like Hensley Farms 19:06 thank you so much thank you so much Anna

theTUNDRA sits down with Anna Hinchley of Hinchley Farms, a multi-generational family dairy farm located in Cambridge, Wisconsin that cares deeply about their livestock and strives to use the very best technology to create their product.

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