Our first issue of the Leader Magazine for 2017 will be in the offices and in your mailboxes before you know it. In the meantime, check out this behind the scenes look at one of the operations featured: Oakwood Farm in Winchester, Virginia.
The drive up the lane to Eddie and Todd Hough’s dairy operation is just as scenic as the backroads you wind through to get there. Set back in the rolling hills of Jefferson County, West Virginia, the Hough family is no stranger to farming this land with lineage going back four generations.
The brothers’ operation consists of 1,600 acres of land both owned and rented and is home to 220 milking cows, 200 heifers, and about 25 beef cows and calves. Anyone familiar with the “dairy way of life” knows that the day begins long before the sun even considers peeking over the horizon and often ends past the typical 5 p.m. clock out hour. Eddie and Todd both agree that this fact alone makes finding quality labor their biggest challenge yet.
Sitting around the kitchen table with them and Martinsburg loan officer, Scott Swaim, it’s easy to tell they’ve been working together for 35 years. Scott notes, “They are especially good team members because they’re always both in attendance for any discussions regarding the operation.”
Todd attributes their successful business relationship with Scott to their open communication, “You have to keep them [lenders] in the loop and the bottom line should always be to tell it like it is. No one likes surprises.”
For other dairy farmers, it’s easy to relate to the 3 a.m. wake up call. But what about working with a sibling 18 years older? Learn more about how the Hough brothers get the job done in the next issue of our Leader magazine!