La Luna Dairy
Neither Jon Slutsky nor Susan Moore had agricultural backgrounds but began their dairy career of 30-plus years in 1981 with a rented dairy that milked 64 head of cattle. They now own and operate their own dairy, La Luna Dairy in Colorado, where they milk over 1,500 cows.
Education, community partnership and communication have always been their most important tools. In 2005 they started a program with Wellington Middle School that not only educates students and the community about the many aspects of a dairy – but makes them excited to be on the farm. Student groups get to visit the farm in workshops that are focused on dairy and tied into the science they learned in the classroom. The workshops include milking procedures, dairy products, feed/nutrition, special needs and manure management. Each workshop is led by industry experts, including Frank Garry, extension specialist veterinarian at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University (CSU).
La Luna Dairy has continued their partnership with Wellington each year, hosting their 11th consecutive tour in 2016.
“Participating in La Luna Dairy’s School Farm Tour is a rewarding investment of time. It’s good to feel the enthusiasm of the kids for learning about the operation and about how modern dairy agriculture works,” said Frank. “And it’s good to feel the pride that Jon and Susan have in opening their doors to these neighbors.”
They also work with other groups from their community and allow different departments from CSU to come to their dairy to do studies – including sociological, labor, health and environmental research.
“We have to be connected to the community since it’s in our front yard,” said Jon. “Plus, it’s nice to have friends in the business community, and it’s great to be recognized and thanked for a being a dairy farmer.”