UW-Madison and Wisconsin Public Television are partnering for “Wisconsin’s Homegrown Farmer“, a show highlighting three different farming families in Wisconsin. The program explores the passion each family has for farming, the challenges each has faced, and how each family has collaborated with university researchers to make modern farming a success.
One of the families highlighted is Daphne and Lloyd Holterman who have been farming for over 30 years. Daphne graduated from UW-Madison 35 years ago as an Agricultural Journalism major, now Life Sciences Communication. Soon after graduating she used her science communication skills to work in agriculture and food communications.
“I [worked in communications] during the week and farmed on the weekends. And I loved every minute of it. I loved working on the farm and getting my hands dirty. Then during the week, I would go to the office and work with other creative people to create communication plans where I would draw on my agricultural experiences,” Holterman said.
When Daphne and Lloyd, another UW-Madison grad, started farming they had just 80 cows. Today, their farm – Rosy-Lane Holsteins LLC – has more than 900 cows and Daphne and Lloyd, as well as their partners, fellow UW-Madison grads Jordan Mathews and Tim Strobel, work on the farm full-time. It hasn’t always been an easy road. Nevertheless, they have held on to their values, balancing profitability and production with stewardship of the land and care for animals.
The Holterman’s connection to UW-Madison has helped them continue to build their skills and knowledge throughout their lives. Daphne and Lloyd have put university research findings to practice on the farm and the result has been a healthier breed of cows, and a healthy business.
In addition, they continue to rely on their education. As Daphne notes, “I still use my skills in agricultural journalism when I manage our website, update Facebook, or when I write memos to employees. Right now I am writing a crisis communications plan for our farm, so I am certainly using the messaging skills I learned in college.”
Carrying on the tradition, Daphne and Lloyd’s daughters, Lauren and Taylor, are also LSC alums. “Wisconsin’s Homegrown Farmer” aired on WPT in early September. For those that missed it, the full program can be found online at WPT.org.