How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a dairy farmer?
We both knew from a young age that we wanted to dairy farm. Guess you could say it was in our blood! Pete grew up on his parent’s dairy farm and Nicole grew up next door to her grandparent’s dairy farm.
What do you love most about being a dairy farmer? Why?
What we love most about dairy farming is that it is a lifestyle and it is a wonderful way to raise our kids. We are so fortunate to be able to walk out our back door and be at “work.”
What is the best piece of advice that you have received from a fellow dairy farmer?
The best piece of advice that we have received from a fellow dairy farmer would be that it is so important to make family time. That our kids are only little once so enjoy them and make time for family holidays.
What’s one thing you wish you could tell consumers about dairy farming?
One thing we would tell consumers is get informed from farmers, not the media. If you have questions go directly and ask a farmer. Yes, farms are bigger now but the majority are still family run operations and animal husbandry and welfare are just as important, if not more. It seems like people are so removed from agriculture and where their food comes from that it’s hard to understand what farms are really like.
What family members are involved with your operation, and what are their responsibilities?
The farm is run by both of us. Pete looks after all feeding/nutrition and daily operations. Nicole looks after animal health (herd health, vaccination, treating) and does the majority of afternoon milkings. We have purebred cattle and are really into genetics so sire selection is usually done by both of us. Our kids are still young but they are quite involved as well. They both have chores to do in the barn.
What is your primary breed? If it is other than Holstein, why did you choose this breed?
The primary breed is Holstein. Nicole has always liked Jerseys and we actually got a Jersey calf as a wedding present so that was the basis for bringing Jersey genetics into the herd. Pete doesn’t share the same enthusiasm about them!
Do you have a favourite cow? Why is she your favourite?
The farm favourite is Loveable. She won many of the top shows in the U.S as well as Canada. She has turned out to be an amazing brood cow as well with many daughters being highly classified and winning shows.
Do you name your cows? If so, what is your favourite/most unique name for a cow? Who named her?
Yes! All of our cows have names! It’s too hard to pick which name is the number one favourite! A couple of the top ones are: Tidbit, Moola (she’s a Jersey!), Ice-Cream, and Burst of Rain. When calves are born it is quite the process to find them the perfect name!
What are your children's favourite farm chores/activities? Why?
Our kids love to be outside and involved in the farm. Caitlyn’s favourite chore is bottle feeding calves and helping milk. Brayden is all about tractors so he loves to help feed the cows. Caitlyn wants to be a vet and still work on the farm and Brayden wants to be a farmer.
|Farmer's Name||Nicole & Peter Tuytel|
|Farm Location||Chilliwack, BC|
|6 Row Freestall|
|Milking Type||Double 6 Herringbone Parlour|