Farmer Friday: Hannah Douglas, Douglas Farm
Ilion, New York
Hannah Douglas, a junior at SUNY Cobleskill majoring in Animal Science with a concentration in Dairy, was recently selected to represent the state of New York as one of twelve distinguished junior member semi-finalists at the 2015 National Holstein Convention in St. Charles, Illinois. The convention is a week long ordeal, where the representatives complete interviews, tour area farms, and volunteer at the Dairy Bowl competitions. Hannah reflected upon her week saying, “Being selected as one of the semi-finalists is a huge honor. I am proud of my roots and growing up on a family-owned dairy farm.” The Douglas Farm is located in Ilion, NY. Hannah’s parents, Jack and Tina, own the farm and all three of their children, Bobby, Hannah and Joshua, are contributing in their own way. Both Jack and Tina are proud that Hannah has been active in agriculture through 4H and the Jr. Holstein Club, and that she’s planning to continue her future in agriculture. “Passion isn’t even close enough to describe how I feel about dairy farming. Representing farm families, promoting animal care, environmental stewardship all while producing quality products is close to my heart.”, says Hannah.
Tina, and Hannah took the time to answer a few questions for this week’s Farmer Friday:
What is your favorite thing about being a dairy farm family?
Hannah: “I love being able to stay connected with my family and being able to share the same passion each and every day with them. Even when I am away at college or someplace else, I am still able to keep track with what is happening and know exactly what is going on at home because our family is so close.”
Tina: “My favorite part of being a farm family is working together. With our 3 children, they have each chosen to focus on a certain area and actively participate daily on the farm. They are developing problem solving skills, financial decision-making, and time-management skills”
What is one thing you would like people who have never experienced farm life to know?
Hannah: “Being a farm kid is a great life to live. You learn the values of hard-work, time-management, dedication, team-work, responsibility and about life overall. You get real world experiences at a young age that will help you become a better person.”
What is your favorite time of year?
Tina: “We definitely enjoy the fall, due to the harvest.”
Hannah: “My favorite time of year is Fall. I love looking out into the fields and seeing the corn ready to be chopped. The cows out in the pasture enjoying life. Our farm always seems to look picture perfect with the beautiful fall colors and scenery in the background.”
Does anyone in your family participate in any volunteer activities in the community?
Tina: “We encourage our kids to be active. They have enjoyed showing cows and other dairy activities locally for 4H and the Jr. Holstein club. I personally have been active in volunteering for the Herkimer County Dairy Promotion committee, currently serving as chairman. I also have been past leaders in 4H and the OHM Jr. Holstein club as well. I believe that it is important to educate about dairy farming locally. If our neighbors are not aware, then how can they make accurate decisions for the health of their families?”
Hannah, do you plan to return to the farm after college?
Hannah: “My plans for after college are still to be determined. I do plan to continue to be involved in dairy farming. I hope to become a herd manager with my main focus on the transition period for cows and newborn calves.”