IONIA, Mich. — It’s not the most glamorous job. Between long days, and yes lots of manure, forty years in, this family shows no signs of stopping.
Todd Tubergen knows a thing or two about the milk-producing process. He was born into the business.
“The ideal temperature for cows is between 40 and 60 degrees,” Turbergen said.
Back in 1982, his parents took a leap of faith, ditching their day jobs to start the Tubergen Dairy Farm. It was a modest start, just 20 cows on 80 acres. Now the operation has grown to 1,500 cows and more than 2000 acres.
“15,000 gallons leaves every day, and I would say the product is made into cheese within 24 hours, '' Tubergen said.
But it’s not just the magnitude of their production that has put this farm on the map- it’s how this family cares for the cows.
It’s part of why Michigan State University recognized the Turgergens as Dairy Farm of the Year, beating out over a thousand other farms.
Trying to minimize the dairy farm’s footprint was also a large part of MSU’s decision.
“The sand that we use for the beds for the cows, we actually recycle all that sand,” Turbergen said. “So we run it through our manure system, and rinse and clean the sand so we can reuse it,”