David Jackson always knew he’d be a dairyman. Sure, he left the farm for a few years to attend junior college and work for a gravel company, but his love of cows brought him right back.
He got his professional start in 1984, leasing a dairy and milking 38 cows. These days, he and his wife, Jodi, own Bentwood Dairy, where they milk 400 cows. They also farm and raise Brangus beef cattle.
“Growing up on a dairy was great,” David says of his childhood. “When you're that poor, you don't know it. We worked all the time. We fed the calves – sometimes before we went to school and always after school – and in the summers, we worked with hay and we put up silage. We thought we had a great life.”
David and Jodi’s children – Emily and Connor – had the same advantage as their dad, growing up on the dairy. They share their parents’ passion for the business, and both plan to pursue careers in agriculture.
Though the days are short and the work is hard, the Jacksons wouldn’t have it any other way.
“If you like to work, you'll like the dairy business,” David says. “It's a seven-days-a-week job. We always have something to do around here. There's always something. When you get one thing done there's another thing to do.”
But getting to work with the cows they love, to produce a product families enjoy? Worth every minute.