- Our Family
- Michelle, Martin, Tyler, Stella, Jolie
- Loveland, CO
- Why dairy farming?
- For Dickinson, the best part about being a dairy farmer is being able to work with her family and build something her kids can be proud of and carry into the future.
A Legacy of Dairy Farming
Michelle Dickinson proudly and diligently runs Mountain View Farm in Loveland, Colo. Family-owned businesses are often passed on from generation to generation. Typically, each generation takes what their predecessors have made and continues to build upon it; this holds especially true for dairy farming. Most dairy farms are family run and depend on each new generation to continue the tradition and uphold the business, and Mountain View Farm is no exception.
Mountain View Farm was started by Dickinson’s great-grandfather in 1917 as a means to provide for his family. Dickinson’s grandfather, Aaron Dickinson, joined the U.S. Navy and attended college, but ultimately returned to the farm and his roots in agriculture. Mike Dickinson, Dickinson’s father, loved cows and knew from the start that dairy farming was what he was going to do with his life. Though Dickinson went into the family business dragging her feet at first, she quickly found she had an indescribable feeling of knowing that, like her father, dairy farming is what she was meant to do.
Dairy farming is also how Dickinson met her husband Martin, who was running the sick pen at Mountain View Farm seventeen years ago. The couple wed a few years later and now have three children, Tyler, Stella and Jolie. Dickinson’s younger sister Kristi decided mountain living suited her, while her older sister Lisa runs Kerbs Dairy in Gill, Colo.
For Dickinson, the best part about being a dairy farmer is being able to work with her family and build something her kids can be proud of and carry into the future. Dickinson says the cows are her second favorite part about being a dairy farmer.
The dairy started out with only a couple of cows, but after additions from both her father and grandfather, Mountain View Farm expanded to milk the 2,500 cows that it does today. In fact, there are currently over seven thousand animals on the dairy, aged anywhere from one day to ten years. Besides their own cows, Mountain View Dairy recently started a partnership with Johnsons Dairy, where they are milking an additional thousand cows.
Making sure the cattle are treated right is a top priority at Mountain View Farm. Dickinson does everything she can to be sure the cows have what they need to stay happy and healthy, including training employees often on animal husbandry and best practices.
“We care deeply for our cows, I believe we truly are animal welfare experts,” said Dickinson. “We work closely with our veterinarian developing protocols for treatments and animal care. He checks the herd twice a week and makes adjustments as necessary.”
Mountain View Farm is also taking steps to be more sustainable. They are currently composting all their manure and reusing it as bedding for their cows and they use waste water on nearby alfalfa fields. The dairy also changed all their lighting to high-efficiency bulbs and updated as much equipment as they could in order to be longer lasting and energy saving. They will continue to make improvements based on yearly audits done by their electrical co-op.
In addition to running the dairy, Dickinson sits on the Western Dairy Association Board, Dairy Farmers of America Mountain Area Council Board and Colorado Livestock Care Coalition Board. She also makes sure she stays active in her family’s lives, attending all her children’s games and volunteering at their schools.
Dickinson knows firsthand what dairy farming means to farm families, and wants to make sure consumers know how hard farmers work to get milk to them.
“98 percent of dairy farms are family-owned,” said Dickinson. “For generations, dairy farmers have dedicated themselves to caring for animals and the environment as they provide the world with safe, wholesome and nutritious milk.”
It’s something the Dickinsons have been doing for nearly 100 years.
Read more about the Dickinson family and their involvement in the community here.
Read more about the Dickinson family’s near-100 year history.