Type: Raw Dairy
Years in operation: 4
Annual revenue: 10k-50k
(Average over last three years)
WiMo Farms is nestled amongst the bucolic foothills of Northern Colorado. On just 2.3 acres, we raise chickens, turkeys, Muscovy ducks, a handful of sheep and most importantly our lovely Jersey cows. We milk year round between 6 and 8 cows twice a day and are able to provide nutritious raw milk to more than 100 families along the Colorado front range from Boulder to Fort Collins. With our three little ones, all under age 6, we feel incredibly blessed to be part of the farming community on the Front Range.
Inside the Farm
How is your approach to farming different than other farms in the same category?
Well, we do things VERY differently than most other dairies that we've met. First and foremost as a mother, I feel incredibly connected to our cow mamas and we let the calves stay with their mamas until weaning which generally happens around 6 months. Even then, the calves are on the other side of the fence so there is nearly no stress to either calf or mama. We also work hard to improve our little piece of heaven by utilizing the output of the cows to improve the hard clay soils. Additionally, instead of working against the land and using pesticides and herbicides to improve pasture quality, we rotationally graze our pastures to encourage deep and wide root growth of the grasses. Additionally, as we've continued on our farming journey, we are constantly looking for ways to maximize the financial output of the farm. Our newest venture is into grass-fed beef at our local farmer's market and, coming soon - farmstead artisinal cheeses! We've also been blessed to build relationships with local land owners and figure out ways to barter for pasture leases. We hope to find more pasture leases in the near future and possibly even move to a mobile milking model!
How does your different approach contribute to a long-term profitable growth strategy for your farm and other small farms like yours?
I strongly believe that a rotational grazing approach with the pastures we use helps to contribute to long-term profitability in that we don't have to dump lots of chemicals and do costly replanting of grasses and native plants. Additionally, looking for new outlets such as cheesemaking, and more specifically, cheesemaking with our own Jersey cows' milk will be an amazing avenue for both of us to eventually be able to farm full time. We also love to educate young folks who want to learn to farm, and also educate other farmers we meet about more holistic approaches to farming in an arid climate. Early last year we joined the WWOOF website and have hosted more than 12 young (in age and in heart!) folks wanting to learn about farming and raising their own food. I think educating others about the way we farm is an incredibly awesome strategy to ensure that we continue to see more small family farms instead of less.
How would you specifically use a Mortgage Lifter Lift or Mini Lift?
We would use the mini lift to help fund the building of a new milk parlor which would be better for the cows and better for those of us that milk them. Currently, we milk in an outdoor parlor and, well, the cows need to be milked when it's 10 degrees or 110 degrees and it can get to be pretty hot or cold out there.
Please share why you are so passionate about your farm and/or farming in general.
We have fought so hard to be where we are today. Our fight has even included just having the right to farm! I've been working with the county and am currently appealing the county code to be able to farm "legally" on our 2.3 acres. I think too that our passion is a result of how we've watched our little piece of heaven morph into what it is today. We could have never ever known the bounty that the dairy would bring into our lives - not just the animals, but the amazing community of shareholders so many of whom we call our friends. We love raising our kids this way as neither of us were raised on farms and both of us are in fact products of the suburbs. It's a bit shocking to think of where we came from and where we are now and we wouldn't change a bit of it for anything. Everything we have today we've had to learn from scratch. Now, we both feel like we have an immense amount of tribal knowledge, but the road to get here hasn't been without its bumps; however, each one has created a unique road that, to us, is as beautiful as the signature of each snowflake. To be able to wake up on a spring morning to a beautiful little calf staring at you with those big doe eyes and to see the mama cow practically smiling at you when it's the first calf she's ever been able to keep - it just melts your heart.
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