- Our Family
- Marc, Gregg, Glenn
- Holyoke, CO
- Amount of dairy cows
- Why dairy farming?
- The love of the cows is the most rewarding thing about dairy farming.
A Proud Tradition of Dairy Farming
“The love of the cows is the most rewarding thing about dairy farming,” says Marc Wailes of his life as a dairy farmer, “the people too. There’s fewer and fewer of us all the time and it seems like dairy farmers are as nice of people as you’ll ever meet. The cows and the people are what I love about it.”
Brothers Marc and Gregg and brother-in-law Glenn Huwa manage the present-day Double W. They took over from their father Bill Sr. after a lifetime of dairying, who took over from his father Leroy. Leroy’s family came to the United States from Scotland, where they were coal miners. Marc says they came to Colorado to work in the coal mines. They bought a few cows to use as family cows and found a new way of life.
“I know he started selling milk around 1933,” Marc said. “But I found records that he had some registered Holsteins as early as 1922. So I know he was milking in the 1920’s.”
Just as Leroy raised his family on the dairy, Bill did also and now it is the three partners’ turn.
“Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of good times and also bad times, but the good far outweigh the bad.” Marc says.
Marc met his wife Janel in Holyoke when she came from Florida to visit her grandparents and they’ve spent their life together there. They have raised their family on the farm, though their boys have pursued other interests off the farm.
Marc and his partners focus on taking care of their 1,200 cows daily, half of which are Brown Swiss and half Holsteins.
“We work with a great nutritionist, veterinarians and dedicated employees to make sure the cows get the proper care,” Marc explains.
The cows are housed in free stall barns complete with fans and misters for the hot summer months and shielded from the cold in the winter.
To become more efficient, the farm has worked to install new lighting, and a high efficiency milk chiller as well. They worked with Western Dairy and the Colorado Energy Office on those upgrades as part of the Colorado Dairy and Irrigation Efficiency Program.
“Certainly we wouldn’t be dairy farming today if not for our grandparents, our parents and all our aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters who all worked growing up on the dairy. And our brother Bill Jr., who always gave us advice and help when asked for,” said Marc. “He was always there for the dairy.”