Will Collier was only four years old when his grandfather and father started their dairy, so he’s been in the business his entire life. Now he’s running the show with his wife Lauren and their three kids.
Will didn’t always know he wanted to carry on the family tradition. At Texas Tech University, he earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics instead of dairy production – in case he didn’t come back.
But it didn’t take long sitting in a classroom to realize how much he wanted to work outside. He returned home in 1999, and in 2008, he and Lauren bought the dairy.
"We wanted to raise our kids on the farm," Will says. "Help them when they get ready to work and raise a family. Whether it's on the farm or not, it's always nice to have that farming background to teach you hard work and responsibility."
And while the kids pitch in when they can between school activities, it’s Lauren who is his right-hand.
"She does all," Will says. "She manages the office, does payroll and handles all the books. And because of that, she knows where we are in bad times and good times, and is very helpful in making the decisions."
The Colliers have faced those decisions by embracing new technologies that make their farm more efficient and sustainable. T&K Dairy is now home to a state-of-the-art robotic milking barn, the first of its kind in Texas.
"It's like a rollercoaster. We’ve had to work hard through the tough times to get to the next year," Will says. "Investing in technology is the future of our farm and will allow me to pass it on to my kids."
But this doesn’t mean the Colliers will have more time away from the farm, because they wouldn’t have it any other way.
"Whether it's on the tractor or in the pasture with the cows, I just love being able to take my kids to work when I need to," Will says. "Just spending time as a family outdoors with our cows."