Today’s farm in the June Dairy Month series is the Hesters family farm. Make sure to check out the Wet Burrito recipe at the end!
Husband and wife Ted and Karyn Hesters live and work on this northern Indiana dairy farm. The picture above shows their son, Ma Kai, who was 18 months in the picture. Ma Kai helps out around the farm and Karyn says he is definitely their future little farmer.
The family is currently milking 184 Jersey cows. Jerseys are a breed from the British island of Jersey off the French coast. The breed is known for its rich, creamy milk with high butterfat content.
The Hesters run an organic, grazing-based dairy. They are also a seasonal calving operation. Dairy farmers can breed their cows so calves are born year-round, so even if some cows are “dry,” or not being milked while they rest up to have their calf, the farmer can still milk some of the other cows. A seasonal calving operation, on the other hand, has all cows give birth in a short window of time so all the cows are dry or resting at the same time. This year the Hesters had almost all their baby calves (130 out of 184) born in March. Karyn Hesters says this keeps her husband Ted very busy and he is ecstatic when calving season is over.