Though Frank Wolf enjoyed growing up on a dairy, he wasn’t always sure he wanted to make a life of it.
“For a little while, I thought I might want to go into the banking business, but my dad told me no, that wasn’t the direction I was going to go,” he says with a laugh.
In 1990, Frank bought out his father’s herd of 200 Holsteins. Today, he also farms about 500 acres of wheat and runs about 70 head of beef cows. He’s still using the same barn his father built.
Frank’s oldest son, Adam, is already carrying on the family tradition, leasing a dairy farm and Frank’s other three kids still help out when they can.
Frank also shares his passion by hosting tours to teach others about where their milk comes from – and about the challenges farmers face.
“If you’re working in the city, if you don’t get paid what you want, you can ask for a raise or go get a different job,” Frank says.
But that’s not how it works for dairy farmers. Uncontrollable factors like weather determine profit margins.
“Just a year or two of bad weather can wipe out all that profit,” he explains.
But Frank still gets excited about his profession.
“I still have that enthusiasm when I see a cow that’s just had a calf – especially if it’s a heifer,” he says. “I’m wondering, ‘Man, what can this calf turn into in two years?’ It’s exciting.”