Wolf Creek Dairy
The Next Better Thing
The Diepersloot house is always full of people. When Adrian was growing up in California, there’d be extra hands there to work on the dairy each summer.
“I loved that, at nine or 10 in the morning, everybody would be in the house,” Adrian says. “Coffee would be going and my mom would have a full spread of breakfast for everybody. With friends, family, employees. And we always had a random guy or two from Holland living with us.”
The first time his wife Jaclyn met his family, she fell in love with it, too.
“I really enjoyed coming into that family and just seeing how welcoming they were and how inclusive they were of everybody,” she said.
When the Diepersloots decided to move out of California closer to the Midwest, the family dynamic equipped them for the challenge. Adrian and his partners – brother Rob Diepersloot and family friend Len Houweling – saw a huge opportunity in building a new dairy from the ground up. Despite their busy schedules, they made it their mission to seek out the latest and greatest in dairy farming.
“The three of us came together. The three of us put our hearts and minds and soul into this place. We were flying all over the country, looking at different technologies and different things. It made the experience a lot of fun. We could go have dinner after being in a couple dairies all day, and we're sitting in the middle of a nice restaurant just smelling to high heaven, and we could laugh.”
They chose Colorado for their new location and set to work building Wolf Creek Dairy. In true Diepersloot fashion, Jaclyn found herself hosting crowds of people.
“That whole first year, we just had guests on end. I feel like our door was a revolving door. And then during the actual startup of the dairy, we had five guys living in our basement for several months. Lots of dirty clothes that were laid out on my driveway, that I'd hose off every day.”
“We would all get home at 11 o'clock at night, and she would have a full meal ready for us,” Adrian remembers. “My wife was an all-star in starting this operation here.”
But Jaclyn embraced the chaos. “Seeing what my in-laws had gone through in the past, just saying, ‘If they can do that, I can do it.’ It was fun.”
All the work and research paid off: Wolf Creek has become quite the operation for cow care. In addition to RFID chips, which help the team track health information about each cow, every cow wears a monitor that tracks her activity. Body condition cameras also scan each cow after she is milked to ensure she stays at a healthy weight. Automatic gates then guide each cow toward the care she needs, whether it’s a special ration of food or one-on-one attention from a member of the Wolf Creek team: a crew of professionals with handheld computers and ultrasound machines.
This whole system means earlier detection and faster intervention for any potential health issue.
Adrian explains, “You're able to take care of a cow like we've never been able, in history, to take care of these animals.”
Sustainability is a huge component, too. For instance, Wolf Creek uses a vacuum truck to clean up and transport manure to be processed into fertilizer, which goes back on the corn and other feed grown on the farm. They’re also building a methane digester, which will process the manure liquids into natural gas that can fuel home heating and more.
The Wolf Creek mission statement says it all: Clean milk, given by comfortable cows, assisted by caring people, in a culture of respect and integrity.
That culture has impacted the next generation of Diepersloots, and they are spreading it in the broader community. During the pandemic, the Diepersloot kids had the idea to donate cheese to the local food bank. Adrian and Jaclyn – plus their manager Larry Brazil and his wife Ricci – jumped on the idea. After checking with the food bank, the two families loaded up a truck with cheese and drove it over. Jaclyn was grateful for the chance to get the kids involved.
“It was pretty cool taking our kids there and letting them see firsthand what it means to give and just be generous with what we have.”
“A lot of local dairymen heard about it,” Adrian adds. “And they started calling and asking what they could do.”
Whether it’s caring for their cows or their neighbors, the future looks bright at Wolf Creek Dairy.
“We're always looking to do the next better thing that we can do,” Adrian says. “We got to take that same energy into the next generation.”