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Michigan Dairy Farmer

Annie Link

“I don’t think I could do anything else. This is what I’m passionate about … this is what I know … this is what I do … this is what I love.”

Annie Link
Dairy Farmer

Name: Annie Link
Location: Alto, Michigan
Years farming: I have been a part of the farm for my whole life, but I’ve become more active over the past seven years. Learn more about my farm at
My family: My husband is Jerry, who I married in 1999. We have three children, Joanna is nine, William is seven, and James is five. My extended family is very close - there are 24 family members who live within two miles of the farm.
How I came to be a farmer: It’s our heritage. My great-grandpa established our farm in 1915. After high school, I attended a local university not really knowing if coming back to the farm was an option. When my husband and I started our family, we knew that there was no better way to raise our children than on a farm. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
The best thing about being a farmer: Cows are my favorite animal! It is so rewarding to see our cows producing high-quality milk and knowing that I played a part in it. I take pride in the fact that we can provide the U.S. and the world with a safe and abundant food supply. We work hard to be the best steward of the environment possible, so my children can have this same opportunity.
My personal philosophy on farming: Being a good steward of the land, animals, and business is directly related to providing people with a great, wholesome product while ensuring the sustainability of our family’s farm.

Dairy Production in Michigan and the United States
  • In 2008, Michigan ranked 9th in milk production, producing 7.8 billion pounds of milk with farm sales of over $1.5 billion.
  • According to USDA, about 99 percent of all U.S. dairy farms are family-owned and operated.
  • There are more than 60,000 dairy farms in America and the average herd size is 135 cows.
  • A heifer is a female dairy cow that has not given birth to a calf.
  • Dairy cows produce an average of 7 - 8 gallons of milk each day.
  • Research shows that drinking chocolate milk after exercising can help replenish muscles and aid recovery as well as, or even better, than popular sports drinks.
  • According to a study by Michigan State University, the dairy industry in Michigan annually contributes $5.9 billion to the state's economy.

For more information about dairy production in Michigan, please visit

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