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Young People Deciding Whether to Stay in the Family Dairy Business

Problems are many on American dairy farms these days. But, some Crawford County young people have decided they want to keep the family business going.

Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA
Farms are struggling for a variety of reasons. These days, young people are deciding if they want to stay in the family business or pursue a different type of career. It turns out, in many cases, farming usually stays in the blood.

Landon Caldwell lives and works on his family’s 100-cow dairy farm near Saegertown. He’s 14 years old and already has been thinking about whether he would want to someday take over the business.

“I don’t know. I might,” he said.”>

Landon’s sister Erika is 18 years old. She also has asked herself the same question about the family business.

“I would like to, but now the way the dairy industry’s going, I’m not sure I’ll be able to,” she said.

The Caldwell kids’ indecision is okay with their parents. Neither parent wants any of their children to go into dairy farming. Farmers are struggling with government regulations. People in this country are drinking less milk. There’s also worries about whether American farms can continue to export their milk. The list of problems goes on and on.

However, Michelle Morian, 29, has decided that she is staying on her parent’s family farm near Conneaut Lake. Along with her sister, they’ve decided they would like to take it over when the time comes.

“There’s nothing that compares to seeing babies born, being there throughout their lifetime. Now, at my age, we’re milking granddaughters, great-granddaughters, great, great granddaughters of when I was a child. I was there when they were born and I bottle fed those babies,” Michelle said.

Josh Waddell, 34, is committed to the family dairy farm in which he grew up near Townville. He is now a partner in the business with his parents. They have 1100 Holsteins. He loves it, even though he says this has been the worst business year in the farm’s history,

“I’ve wanted to farm since I was 5 years old. I’ve always wanted to be there. It’s something I very much enjoy doing. It’s a challenge every day. It’s in your blood. There was no question for me to stay or not to stay,” Josh said.

Josh is now raising his kids on the farm. He hopes they feel the same way he did about growing up to be a dairy farmer.


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