Foss Dairy Farm
When Elaine and Robert Foss married in 1953, they decided to start milking a few cows in their barn, and it ultimately led to Foss Dairy Farm and three generations living the dairy life.
Elaine and Robert had three children – Brad, Robin and Cheryl. Brad, Robin and Robin’s husband Bruce now run Foss Dairy Farm. Robin’s two children, Robert and Bailey, are growing up on the dairy. The operation has about 200 cows and grows its own corn, alfalfa and sorghum.
Sustainability is important to a dairy where Elaine’s grandchildren are growing up. In the wintertime, manure is spread on the fields and careful soil samples are kept to make sure the land will continue to grow crops for future generations.
Elaine’s family has deep roots in dairy – her brother, Bill, and her brother-in-law, Ed Foss, also dairy with their families. Robin’s children are both active in the family business. Bailey’s favorite thing to help with is feeding the baby calves, and both Bailey and Robert are active in 4-H. Robin also makes sure the children participate in other activities in the community.
Things haven’t always been easy for this dairy family; in 2009, they sold their herd to weather the recession, keeping only the heifers, and re-built the herd as the economy improved. Through it all, cow care remained a priority: making sure the cows are happy with clean, comfortable places to rest. The family takes extra care to make sure the cows are relaxed when they are waiting to get milked.
“We help make sure the cows stay calm in the holding pen,” Robin explained. That’s what it takes to produce quality milk.
“We are a family-owned business and our goal is to provide a great product,” she said.