Erich Wehrenberg isn’t your typical dairy farmer; he actually spends most of his time off the farm – as the superintendent of Agricultural Research Facilities for Oklahoma State University.
“For most dairy farmers, their cows are their livelihood,” he says. “I farm because of my passion. I also want my son and daughter to appreciate and have respect for farming, and to grow up like I did, on a dairy.”
Wehrenberg took over the family farm after his father suddenly passed away. His mother and a farm manager help him take care of the dairy and wheat farm during the week, while the dairyman and his wife spend weekends there.
“I try to teach my kids to appreciate all that has been done for them, because farming is a hard job,” says Wehrenberg. “They understand without farmers we don’t have food, fuel or clothing, which is very important to us.”
His children are active in 4-H and FFA, learning the ins-and-outs of raising livestock. Wehrenberg hopes they’ll become the sixth generation of his family to operate the farm. He says the history of the farm stretches all the way back to the time of the Oklahoma land run. His grandparents began milking cows in the early 1940s, and his dad took over in the early 70s.
“The farm is part of me,” he adds. “It’s my desire to instill the same love and appreciation for our family’s heritage, and hard work through dairy farming, in my children and generations to follow.”