There have been cows milked under the name Docheff for over 80 years, whether the cows belonged to Jim Docheff Sr., his father or grandfather.
“We didn’t just hand down the cows from one generation to the next, we all had to buy our own individual cows,” explained Jim Sr. “Even when my granddad had sold out, my dad was milking under the Docheff name, then myself and now my boys – that’s why we still call it Docheff Dairy.”
Jim Sr.’s grandad started dairying in 1934 and sold all of his cows in 1965, but there was never a break in production because Jim Sr.’s father, Metro James, started milking on his own dairy in 1945 and continued to milk until 1973.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Jim Sr. started his own dairy in Broomfield, Colorado, in 1971, then relocated to a new farm in 1979. As Jim Sr.’s boys graduated from college, they started dairying with him on his farm. And just like his father, they bought their own cows and paid their own feed costs.
Three of his boys – Joe, Justin and Jay – are now partners on the dairy with Jim Sr., and the oldest son, Jim Jr., currently owns and operates Blue Sky Dairy in Colorado. After earning their degrees, grandsons Joshua and Chisum continue the family tradition as the fifth generation of Docheff dairy farmers.
The Docheffs are currently milking around 1,000 cows at Docheff Dairy and around 600 cows at Blue Sky Dairy. At both dairies, animal welfare – from cow comfort to nutrition – is a priority.
“There is nothing finer than a dairy cow. She is just a phenomenal individual, whether she’s a Holstein, Jersey, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, whatever the breed may be – dairy farmers take pride in what we have.”