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Organic Dairy Farmer #1004


Pathway:
Agriscience and Natural Resources

Challenges:
 Challenge No. 1

Standards:
There are McRel or MCTM standards for this career.

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Organic Dairy Farmer #1004 - Tape Number: 1004

Career Profile:
Organic Dairy Farmer #1004

This organic dairy farm in southeastern Iowa is managed and operated by its resident owners. Not only do they choose the kinds and numbers of livestock the farm will need, they also arrange all aspects of marketing the dairy products they produce. They base their decisions on market conditions, weather and the size and location of their dairy farm.

This farmer decided to get into the organic dairy business after his tenure as a bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. that lasted some 10 years. He and his wife planned for career moves, which ultimately took them back to their Midwestern roots. When he was a child his family ran a dairy farm where he worked many hours. You might say he never got that out of his blood. He and his wife did some basic market research to determine if there was a demand for organic dairy products. The preliminary information was good and gave them the push they needed to go out on their own.

In recent years the development of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in food production has impacted this organic dairy operation. GMO are not allowed in organic production. However, the possibility exists that neighboring fields can "contaminate" organic fields. When this happens, organic farmers are faced with difficult situations. It's therefore important for this organic farmer to keep abreast of developments in science and biotechnology.

This organic farmer has successfully marketed products throughout the Midwest by visiting with vendors of organic products and establishing strong partnerships with them. Although farming requires long hours and hard work, this professional says the rewards are great.

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