I won the State Dairy Enterprise award through FFA and went on to win in the regional division. My family started working for DHIA (Dairy Herd Improvement Association) following the sale of the dairy, and I continued being a DHIA supervisor for 14 years. Those dairy families became part of my family and I still care for them all so much to this day. I also helped Valentine Holsteins and Haake Farms Brown Swiss, showing and picturing cattle. I was just helping out at the Larimer County Fair Dairy show and somehow got to become a county leader - 24 years ago! My son Thomas showed dairy cattle and many other projects in 4-H and school and my husband helps out when he can. I have been blessed by sharing what little I know along with many other terrific leaders and sponsors with many kids through the Larimer County 4-H Dairy Program. We have an awesome bunch of kids, parents and other supporters of the 4-H dairy program every year, and that's what continues to keep me a leader in this great program.
I was almost literally born in a dairy barn! It was on the historic Willis Farm in Timnath, CO. My dad was milking cows and my mom was in the barn waiting for him to get done because I was on the way! Cows came first. When I was 2, my father went in partnership with another family and we had East Glade Dairy in Masonville, CO. In 4th grade, we sold out and after a little more than a year, we started Homestead Dairy in Bellvue, CO. I started showing Dairy cattle in 1972. At 14, I got a loan through the Jr. FHA program and bought 14 head of cows. My herd grew to 40 before we had to sell the dairy in 1983 (a hard time for many dairy farmers in the area.) I was also on the Larimer County Dairy Judging team for several years and even went to Nationals one year.