At Westside Dairy, it’s one man’s sole job to make sure the 3,500 cows are healthy and happy.
That man is Dan Kullot, staff veterinarian and herd health manager.
Born and raised in southeast Minnesota, Kullot’s passion for the dairy industry developed early, so he earned his veterinary degree from the University of Minnesota. Kullot started a practice in Stephenville, Texas, where the young vet met his now-wife, Karen.
A little over a decade later, the couple (now parents of four) ended up in Kansas, at West Side Dairy, a subsidiary of Syracuse Dairy. There, Kullot maintains biosecurity and overall herd health – all part of producing the highest-quality, most wholesome milk possible.
“You provide [the cows] with the highest-quality feed and the most comfortable environment and, in turn, they will give you the most nutritious, highest-quality milk product that they can give,” Kullot says.
It also requires keeping a tight schedule – Kullot says that’s one of his most important jobs.
“I’m responsible for making sure people are in the right place at the right time,” he says, “[Cows] are creatures of habit, just like we are,” Kullot says. “Whatever you can do to provide a predictable environment is a good thing.”
But don’t confuse predictable with boring.
“Every day is a new challenge,” Kullot says. “If you were to take a picture, it may look the same day in and day out. But I guarantee I never have the same day twice.”