Full Circle Jerseys
When Sieto Mellema opened the Full Circle Jerseys dairy in 2007, he designed it to be sustainable. That meant growing crops to feed the cows, using the cow manure to fertilize the crops, and even buying back whey from the cheese factory to feed the cows – recycling that comes full circle.
Sieto’s greatest strengths lie in the fields, so he brought Dan Cundiff on as dairy manager.
“I’m the guy with the green thumb. I can raise the crops,” Sieto says. “Dan has milk running through his veins. He understands cows – the way they function, what makes them tick.”
They work together to raise cows that produce the highest-quality milk possible.
“It’s quality in, quality out – especially with a Jersey cow,” he adds. “So it’s important you provide a good, clean quality feed – that’s my job – and that you feed it properly – that’s Dan’s job.”
More than a job, though, Sieto says being a dairyman is a lifestyle.
“You have to like it,” he says. “It’s tough. You deal with the weather, the cows, the markets. And you have to function within all of those crazy things that go on, on a daily basis.”
But Sieto wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We live and breathe this every day. We care about the well-being of our cows, the well-being of our facilities and the area we live in. We live here. We drink the water,” he says.
And, of course, he adds, “We drink the milk.”
See more of the Mellema family in our Dairy Up Close docuseries.