Iowa Dairy Farmer
“Everything we do is for the health and safety of our cattle and the quality product that ends up on the grocery store shelf.”
Name: Stephanie Dykshorn
Location: Ireton, Iowa
Years farming: I’ve been farming for almost four years now.
My family: My husband is Paul, and we farm with his family.
How I came to be a farmer: I fell in love with Paul, who is a third-generation dairyman. Farming is not just a job; it's a lifestyle, so I've adopted that lifestyle with him.
The best thing about being a farmer: Being able to produce safe, wholesome food for many, many people! We're able to give them peace of mind about what they're buying in the grocery store, because I would never sell anything that I wouldn't buy, eat or drink myself.
My personal philosophy on farming: Farming is a job and lifestyle that you can literally pass on to your kids and grandkids. I think every farmer wants to pass on their farm to future generations, so we care for the animals we raise and the land we farm in order to leave that legacy for them.
Dairy Production in Iowa and the United States
- Iowa farmers produced 4.3 billion pounds of milk in 2008 – the 13th highest total in the U.S.
- There are 1,910 dairy cow farms in the state.
- Dairy farms, processors and other services associated with the industry employ 26,000 Iowans!
- The dairy industry contributes $1.5 billion annually to the Iowa economy.
- Each year, U.S. dairy cows eat more than 45 million bushels of corn, 3 million bushels of soybeans, 1.6 tons of hay and 3.5 million tons of corn silage.
- During an average day, a dairy cow will eat 90 pounds of feed and drink enough water to fill a bath tub (approximately 50 gallons) in order to produce 5 or 6, 8-ounce glasses of milk.
- It takes 25 gallons of milk to make nine gallons of ice cream.
- Cows spend eight hours a day eating and another eight hours chewing their cud.
- Around 72% of the calcium in the U.S. food supply comes from dairy foods.
- It would take 3.5 pounds of peas, 27 oranges, 50 tomatoes, or 50 slices of wheat bread to equal the calcium content of a single quart of milk.
- Americans tripled their consumption of mozzarella cheese from 1980 to 2001 (pizza, anyone?).
- Mozzarella sticks are nothing new. A recipe for fried cheese sticks dated 1393 was found in France!
- If all of the ice cream consumed in a year was put into cones and stacked up, the tower would reach well beyond the moon!
For more information about farming in Iowa, please visit www.iowafarmbureau.com