- Our Family
- Dan, Nicole DiNicola
- Windsor, CO
- Amount of dairy cows
- Why dairy farming?
- "I love it up here – and the cows love it up here," said Dan of Colorado, "There's just so much space!"
The Duhalde Family
Father-Daughter Duo Keeps Dairying in the Family
For dairy farmers, dairying is a way of life. It’s what they know – and they’re passionate about it. So what happens when a dairy farmer is faced with the option to stop milking or to move in order to continue dairying?
For longtime dairyman Dan Duhalde, the decision was a no-brainer; he and his family packed up and moved across the country so they could continue milking cows.
Dan and his daughter, Nicole DiNicola currently run Front Range Jersey Dairy in Windsor, Colo. But what lead them here?
Let’s start from the beginning.
In 1920, Dan’s grandfather, Louis Duhalde and his wife Marie moved from France to El Monte, Calif. to start a dairy farm. They milked twenty cows by hand and farmed ten acres until 1955 when their son (Dan’s father), Lauren took over the dairy. One of the first things Lauren did was install milking machines so they no longer had to milk by hand. He and his wife Marian continued to milk cows on the dairy in El Monte until 1969, when they were forced to sell their property because a school was being built on it.
So the Duhalde family relocated. They moved from El Monte to Chino, Calif. where they rented a dairy for two years, building their herd to one hundred cows.
Two years later, Lauren and Marian were able to buy a twenty acre piece of property in Chino and build their own dairy – barn, corrals, everything. They moved all their cows and by 1976, were able to grow their herd to 250.
“Chino was kind of unique,” said Dan. “There were like 400 dairies in a 15,000 acre preserve. It was pretty intense – it was like wall-to-wall dairies. Everybody was right next to each other.”
In 1979, Dan became the herdsman. It took thirty years, but by 2012, he grew his dad’s herd from 250 to 1,500. He now had 800 cows and 700 heifers.
Though they reached an impressive herd size by 2012, Lauren decided it was time to sell the cows and the farm. Dan knew that he wanted to stay in the dairy business, so he and his daughter decided to give it a shot on their own. They had about thirty-five Jersey cows that Nicole had raised for 4H and began looking for a new place to start fresh.
Though they considered other locations, the Duhalde family decided to head east, and on April 3, 2013 they moved to Windsor, Colo. Dan, Nicole and Dan’s wife Patty – who now works in Aurora at Pickens Technical College as an administrator – settled down in the small town and never missed a beat. The cows were milked every day from the day Lauren sold the dairy in Chino to the day they moved the cows into their new home in Windsor.
“I love it up here – and the cows love it up here,” said Dan of Colorado, “There’s just so much space!”
Dan also likes how much more sustainable his new dairy is and the abundance of feed – in California, the sheer number of dairies meant getting feed could be competitive, but here in Colorado, he feels like he never has to worry about it.
It has been three years since they moved to Colorado, and Dan and Nicole have already built up their herd from 80 to 175 jerseys.
They took a risk when they moved across the country to keep milking cows – but their risk paid off. Dan and Nicole’s hard work and dedication to dairy farming means that this father-daughter duo get to keep on milking cows!