November 14, 2018
Laura Daniels is a woman who finds a problem and runs after it. Our visit to Laura’s first generation family dairy farm in Southern Wisconsin started out a little stormy, but her cheery disposition shined through as she showed us around the farm that she and her husband Jared have built with a lot of hard work and love. While both of the work off of the farm, keeping it going and strong is an important thing for both of them. They have a team of employees that they work closely with to manage the farm day-to-day. While Laura doesn’t do the milking on the farm (anymore) she popped into the milking parlor to give me a look behind the scenes. While in the barn, Laura asked if I wanted to help and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I have watched it done many times, but have never actually milked a cow by myself before! She quickly showed me what to do, assured me I wouldn’t hurt her and I jumped in, cleaning the teats and attaching the milking machine. It went fast and just like that, the cow was done and we were off to the next thing. Laura showed me around her farm, from the calves to the pigs and everything in between it was clear she has not only a love but a strong desire to educate and connect people to her beloved industry. In fact, that desire to connect has started a movement…
A few years back, Laura gathered a small group of women at a dairy conference to connect and network. The response was amazing and propelled Laura to work to form a not-for-profit group, called The Dairy Girl Network. Today the group still connects women through Dairy Girl events and has thousands of members who grow in their roles through that connection. Laura saw a need, jumped in and filled it.
As we ended the day at Heartwood farm, the clouds gave way to sun and I followed Laura as she let the girls out to pasture. Whether a group of her favorite girls on the farm or an industry full of women looking to connect, Laura is a leader that makes things happen.
Until next time,
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