Today for the June Dairy Month series, we’ll head up to northern Indiana to meet the Troxel family. Don’t miss the prize winning recipe at the end!
The Troxel Dairy Farm in Hanna, Indiana, is owned by Tom and LuAnn Troxel. The dairy started in 1950 with Tom’s parents, Phil and Mary Troxel. They milked around 24 cows and raised their family of 8 children right where the farm still is today. Mary was by Phil’s side most of the time, and her past experience as a farm girl was a huge help to Phil, who wasn’t raised on a dairy farm.
When Phil was 57 years old, he suffered a severe stroke. Tom was a senior in high school when this happened, and it’s a day he’ll never forget. Tom changed his class schedule so he could milk cows in the morning and still finish his high school education. Tom’s dad was unable to ever work again, but the family pulled together and managed to keep the farm going. His brother graduated from Purdue and came home to take over the farm. With the support of his mom and brother, Tom decided to attend Purdue University and eventually received his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1981.
Tom and LuAnn got married in 1983 and started their life together right on the home farm. They were blessed with 4 boys, and the farm provided a wonderful place to raise them, teaching them the value of hard work, responsibility and other life lessons. Tom has been both a veterinarian and a dairy farmer for his entire professional career. In general, the two occupations have worked well together, and Tom and LuAnn have worked as a team. The Troxels have hired people in the community, including many students, to help with chores.
Currently, the Troxels milk 140 cows, predominately Holstein. Producing high quality milk is a goal that the Troxels strive for every single day. They are very grateful to have their oldest son, Rudy, working full-time at the farm. Rudy is the herd manager who makes the genetic decisions and does the feeding on the farm. Coupled with the aid of technology and Rudy’s knowledge, genetics have been improved greatly. The Troxel Dairy Farm has seen many changes over the years, but the commitment to producing high quality milk, providing excellent animal care, and serving the community hasn’t changed.
Catch them on Facebook as Troxel Dairy Farm!