During Marion County’s Annual Popcorn Festival in September, the Christmas by Candlelight in December, and even the Marion County Fair in the hot days of the summer, the lives on the dairy of Karl Wedemeyer are going on and work is never stopping.
White Diamond Farm, located in Marion Ohio, is on its way up in cow numbers, production, and reputation.
Karl Wedemeyer is a recent graduate (and when I say recent, I mean Winter Quarter recent!) of The Ohio State University. When asked what the hardest challenge of managing a farm right out of school is Karl said, “It takes a lot of energy and management. More than I thought it would because I’m taking on so much in such a short amount of time.”
He has recently taken over herd health, reproduction, AND milk quality on the farm. Most students immediately out of college don’t even get the chance to manage their own dairy right away. But Karl and his family have been working hard over the past year to get where they are now. And where exactly is that?
They are expanding, having recently built a hundred cow free stall barn that is on its way to being full. Currently, they are milking 64 Jersey cows in a straight 4 walk through parlor and hope to get up to the 100-cow benchmark. On this farm, the hardest thing about expanding has been hiring labor.
“Finding good, qualified, dependable workers is hard to do in any field of work, which makes it ten times harder on a dairy,” Karl said.
Employees on the farm consist of Karl’s parents and a hired hand.
“Everyone helps with the milking. My mom takes care of the calves and my dad has an off-farm job to help with income,” Karl said.
The heifers and calves are kept in a separate barn, and Karl said, “We have always raised our own heifers and we always will.”
Is that pride talking? Of course it is, but Karl says that this is important because he likes to accomplish challenges. Every dairy farmer knows how difficult it is to raise calves, heifers, and milk cows all together because of the work load that comes with it and the fear of lacking quality in one stage of life for the cows. Karl is taking this challenge head-on and is hoping to see it improve very soon.
So what does the future look like for White Diamond Farm?
“We hope to continue to expand up to our 100 cow mark, but also hope to pass that someday,” Karl said. “We want to improve on cow health, as well as calf and heifer management. We would also like to get some experts on the payroll that will help with our already improved standard of living. We just want to be successful and take our dairy to where it should be-at the highest levels of production and efficiency.”
Good luck Karl and we hope you succeed in your ambitions!