McConnell Family
Rainbow Park Dairy

 

Family:
McConnell

Location:
Florence, CO

Experience:
Two generations

Anyone who thinks we don’t care about our cows’ comfort doesn’t understand what drives a dairy farmer. It’s our top priority.

Will McConnell grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as the son of a college administrator, but started dreaming of being a farmer or cattleman when he was young. Working his way through Colorado State University (CSU) in the school’s dairy barn sealed the deal.

“On day one I saw how much the other guys cared for the cows and knew them so well. I wanted to be like them,” said Will.

It’s been nearly 40 years, and he’s still thrilled to spend the day with his cows. Seven mornings a week, Will rises early and starts caring for this herd. He and his wife, Jo Elyn, have run the dairy for many years and are now joined by their son, Rob.

Will brings passion to every part of his operation. He never stops looking for ways to improve. One day he is fine-tuning his 12-ingredient feed mix, another day it’s a new idea for softening the cows’ bedding to make them more comfortable.

“Anyone who thinks we don’t care about our cows’ comfort doesn’t understand what drives a dairy farmer. It’s our top priority. I’ve spent 20 years taking care of my cows, and I hope to spend another 20 doing even more to make sure they’re comfortable and producing high-quality milk,” Will said.

Will’s passion for innovation and sustainability is shared by his son, Rob, who launched a side business tending windrows of composting manure from the farm to sell to local organic-certified farming operations. The McConnells also capture storm water runoff in a wastewater pond and use it to water pasture land on their property. They see it all as part of living harmoniously on the land and wasting nothing. These efforts are what will allow them to continue farming for years to come.