Maintaining a strong image of their farm and the dairy community is a top priority for 3-D Dairy. Brothers John, Joe and Bill Diederichs originally each had a farm but shared farm machinery and helped each other with field work. In 2000, they decided to create a partnership and started building a 600-cow facility.
In 2012, the Diederichs built a facility to raise their heifers on site. They now milk 1,400 cows in Malone, Wis.
DBA: What are you most proud of on your farm? Diederichs: We are most proud of how clean and organized our farm is. Our goal is to make a good image for not only us but all dairy farms. Also, we are proud of our relationships with our neighbors. We respect them and they respect us.
DBA: What sustainable practices are you using on the farm and what benefits have you seen? Diederichs: We tirelessly try to keep and maintain cow comfort. We also follow our nutrient management plan to handle the manure on the farm. We want to get the most use out of the nutrients to help our crops grow. No-till and cover crops are practices that we are currently implementing and plan to do more.
DBA: How do you engage the non-farming public about dairy farming? Diederichs: We were proud to host the 2014 Fond Du Lac County Breakfast on the Farm.
DBA: What do you see as major challenges and opportunities facing the dairy community? Diederichs: We believe a major challenge will be trying to find labor as well as the cost of labor.
DBA: What technologies have you incorporated on your farm that have benefited the business? Diederichs: We use genomic testing on our heifer calves. We also have been using beef semen on the lower end of the herd. We have incorporated a sand recycling system to bed our cows.
DBA: If you were talking to people who have no connection to agriculture, what would you want to tell them about your farm or the dairy community? Diederichs: Don’t believe everything you read or hear from media sources. We recommend talking to the source – a dairy farmer! We would encourage them to tour a dairy farm to see how farmers take care of their animals.
DBA: You have been a member of DBA since 2007. What benefits do you find most helpful? Diederichs: We enjoy attending the Dairy Strong conference, other meetings and events that DBA puts together. We also appreciate the email updates that help us stay up to date on current events and issues. Lastly, we can contact DBA for advice when we’ve had rare situations happen on the farm.