Evelyn Verneer’s Industry Profile

About Evelyn

Evelyn and her husband, Fred, run a family owned dairy farm called Marlena Farms Ltd., in Dewdney, BC, which came into existence through Fred’s parents. The farm received the herd management award in their DHI (Dairy Herd Improvement) region last year. They have three children who have grown up on the farm and help with the different jobs on the farm. In Evelyn’s spare time she enjoys yard work, going to her son and husband’s hockey games, hiking up the mountains and biking.

How Did You Get Involved In The Industry?

My husband Fred and I were both born and raised on a dairy farm. I always loved the industry. I was a milker for many years. I knew I wanted to marry someone in the dairy industry and I did!

How Would You Describe A Typical Day On The Job?

On this farm, we milk 150 cows 3 times per day and have four hired milkers who assist us on the farm. I do a lot of the accounting and book work for the farm. At different times of the year the duties change. In the winter, I try to do more inside stuff and in the spring, summer and fall we are very busy outside. I fill in the gaps everywhere. We have a number of different computer programs we use for management tools. Everything is very involved, udder health, the feed, foot health.

What Type of Environment Do You Work In?

Mainly on the farm outdoors, in the barn, indoors. Just about everywhere.

What Do You Like About This Industry And Your Job?

It is a great lifestyle and is an amazing way to raise a family. It is never boring. Even when I milked full time, somehow there always seemed to be a new adventure. There is never a day that is the same. There is a lot of organization in the job which I like. You have to use your brain.

What Are Some Benefits To Working In The Dairy Industry?

I work with great people. The dairy industry has down to earth, hard working people. My daughter is doing the night milking as a part time job while she is going to university. There isn’t anywhere she could work and make the money she does and be able to go to school at the same time. She does the night milking working only 3 hours per day.

What Are Some Important Traits Or Skills Someone Should Posses For This Industry?

They should be hard working and punctual. Some computer skills would be beneficial as we use a few dairy programs. We need to train people on these systems, particularly the herdsperson.

What Are Your Thoughts About The Future Of The Dairy Industry?

It is not the way farming used to be. In my dad’s day anyone that could work hard could be a dairy farmer but now you have to use your brain a lot more. There is a great deal of technology and management now necessary in order to stay afloat with everyone else.