Meet 2019 MMPA Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperator finalists Darren and Regina Coffey of Allegan, Michigan. Darren & Regina have a positive mindset and a passion for dairy. They are active within their community, sharing the dairy story and supporting the future of agriculture. Darren helps FFA youth restore tractors and is treasurer and secretary of the MMPA West Michigan Local. Regina holds a variety of positions within their community including 4-H volunteer, FFA Dairy Foods coach and MMPA Dairy Communicator.
Darren & Regina milk 980 cows on their 1,600-acre farm, Rolling Acres Dairy Farm LLC. They strive to keep their animals, employees and families as happy and healthy as possible by working together and moving forward on the farm. They are members of the West Michigan Local in District 3.
How do you improve your farm’s sustainability?
1. Buying more cows
“We are increasing our herd size to maximize our parlor without adding more employees. This will make our farm more efficient through utilizing the assets we currently have on hand.”
2. Raising our own feed
“We try and raise as much of our own feed as possible. We work closely with our nutritionist to help maximize our supplements and implement new feed stuffs to help keep our costs down.”
3. Monitoring our soils
“We soil test and keep a close eye on our farm’s soils. We use our manure to the best of our ability and try to only add the nutrients that the soil needs to produce a good crop.”
4. Maintaining our equipment
“Our tractor and equipment repair is all done on the farm which helps us save on repair bills. We also do all our own preventative maintenance to help reduce down time on equipment, improving our overall efficiency.”
5. Capitalizing on generational differences
“We have multiple generations on the farm all working together. We believe that it’s good to have older ideas mixed in with fresh ideas
and technology, especially as the farm grows.”
This article was originally published in the May/June issue of the Milk Messenger. Subscribe »