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In the News: Staff Columns

Redrock View Farms: Family & community

Wednesday, August 2, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joanna Wavrunek, digital communications manager
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The journey for Redrock View Farms in Darlington began in 1985 when the Carpenter family milked about 90 cows. Steve and Lisa Carpenter purchased the farm in 1995 from Steve’s parents, Jerry and Marilyn.

Steve and Lisa’s sons, Cody (wife Carrie Jo), Colton and Carson, are all actively involved and their daughter, Cora, will be pursuing a college degree in agriculture business/communications this fall.

With the help of not only family members but very good employees, the dairy has grown to 600 Holstein and Jersey cows and about 1,300 acres. The Carpenters have added many improvements including the milking parlor, heifer barn, three free-stall barns, machine shed, hay shed, bunkers and dry-cow barn.

DBA: What are you most proud of on your farm?

Carpenters: Our ability to work as a family along with being able to be actively involved in the community. Family and community are two of the strongest pillars of a rural community. We take an immense amount of pride in both. We are involved in 4-H, FFA, Holstein Association and many other great organizations. How we treat our employees and how they get involved in the community is also important.

DBA: What sustainable practices are you using on the farm?
Carpenters: Strip-cropping is part of our conservation and management practices.  We also have been implementing no-till and minimum-till practices, split application of nitrogen along with using nitrogen stabilizers. We are utilizing low-impact manure application along with cover crops to minimize soil disruption.

DBA: How do you engage the non-farming public about dairy farming?

Carpenters: Four local farms have come together, including Redrock View, Cottonwood Dairy, Darlington Ridge Farms and Highway Dairy Farms to form a program called Day@the Dairy. This group invites all the fourth-graders in Lafayette County to one of the four farms every year in May to learn about everyday life on a dairy farm. Approximately 375 students and 75 volunteers participate.

DBA: What do you see as challenges facing the dairy community in the future?
Carpenters: Immigration reform and environmental restrictions are the two hot-button topics that keep us awake at night. They could have an immediate and negative impact on the efficiency of our dairy. DBA recognizes these are two key platforms. The organization actually listens to farmers and takes action on the topics deemed most important to their members.

DBA: What does the future hold?
 
Carpenters: We continue to strive for the highest standards in the dairy community in all aspects of our farm with the hope of successfully passing our proud tradition to the next generations. Using the latest technologies and techniques in conservation and management practices will be the best tools to help us attain that goal.

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