This week we are thrilled to introduce you to quite the incredible gal---our daughter Holly Moore! She wears many hats in the family business, and we are excited to tell you about her roles and why she is so important to us.
Where do we even start? Well, I guess we can start with Graceland Dairy, which is the 2nd dairy that we own along with Holly. Holly is the day-to-day operations manager for Graceland. It’s hard to have a ‘typical’ day on the farm, but she tried to describe what that was like for you all. 6:30 AM is when she arrives to the dairy every day and does a morning run through to make sure all the equipment is working and the staff is all there and there are no problems. Holly then makes sure all the cows have new grass or new hay to go to after they are done being milked. She has to be home by 8 AM to trade places with her husband and wear one of her other many hats---the mom one! Her and her husband, John have a 5-month-old daughter named Daisy.
Holly met John when she sold him a center pivot (irrigation equipment) several years ago, and the rest is history. John goes to work at a neighboring farm where he harvests all of the forages for a neighboring confinement dairy and works in the shop all winter repairing equipment for the following planting and harvesting season. At about 9:30-10:00, Holly goes back to the dairy and puts on yet another hat…one that involves some feathers! She has 600 laying hens that she takes care of for her free range egg business, which she has been involved in for the past 3 years.
She has 25 dozen eggs to collect every day! Her husband’s parents are own a big farm market in Henrietta (Gro-More Farms) so that is where she sells her eggs. Her husband, John, actually bought the coop and started with the hens, so her father-in-law asked her if she would be interested in taking it over when John started having too many other responsibilities. She likes having the hens and says that the dairy farm is a great place for the chickens can be out among the cows and the open pastures and fresh air and sun. Sidenote: now you can get some eggs from Holly to go along with your cheese for breakfast!
After taking care of the chickens, Holly goes to check on the spring calves and give them their grain. She then goes to the run-off pad where they keep the heifers that are between 1 and 2 years old and checks on them to make sure they have enough grass to eat. She gest back to the dairy around 4 PM and makes sure all the cows go to a new pasture every day. Of course, not every day is like this. For example, just this past week she had to help 3 veterinarians pregnancy check 585 cows. For those of you who aren’t aware of how that process works, a veterinarian actually has to stick his/her arm up the cow’s rear end and check if the cow is pregnant.
Dirty work to say the least! But, it’s necessary to know if the cows are pregnant.
Holly spent some time overseas on other dairy farms (she was in New Zeeland for 18 months) and decided that she didn’t want to have a family over there but knew she wanted to farm. She said with a bit of a chuckle that her and her dad (Gary) have very similar personalities, and East Hill was not big enough for the both of them, so her dad started looking for other opportunities for them to expand the business and include Holly, and that’s when Graceland Dairy was born.
As Holly proudly said, “Farming is not a job, it’s a lifestyle. From the day I was born, I was born into it. She grew up with a love for a farm. There’s always something to do, always chores to do, always projects to do.” She said spring and summer are her favorite times on the farm because spring is calving, and in the summer the cows are all out on grass and happy. Holly added, “ It’s very self-gratifying to work in the family business, because you can see the rewards and reap the rewards of the hours that you put into it. You are working for yourself.”
When asked what she thought about her parents diving into the cheese business and building a creamery, she admitted that at first she was very skeptical for her dad to take on this business venture.
However, as it is being built and gaining momentum and blossoming, she becomes more excited. She admitted, “It’s going to be a lot of hard, hard work, and we as a family, are really going to have to get used to dealing with the public. We are going to have to learn how to do that, which is ok. Learning is always good no matter what age you are. We are going to be the ones who carry this on and operate the dairy. It will be good for us to start getting our feet wet now, instead of when mom and dad are unable to do what they do now.”
Holly is very excited for the Creamery and the cheese to be a way for the public to get more in touch with where their food comes from and the hard work it takes to produce that food. She explained, “There is so much more to that cheese and finished product you see in the case.” She wants people to understand how it starts with putting a milking unit on a cow and the actual milking process and how it ends up with the finished product that people see. She believes the public is getting so much farther away from how the finished product is created, and she is excited to show the world where that cheese comes from and all of the hard work goes that goes into it.
As you can see, Holly is a woman of many hats at Graceland Dairy, East Hill Farms, and East Hill Creamery. She is wonderful daughter, wife, mother, and one of the hardest working farm women around. We hope you have enjoyed learning about what a day in her life is like, and understand more about what she does. If you have any questions for her, let us know! Thanks for reading.