BC Dairy Farmers

Meet BC Dairy Farmer: Aretha Westenenk

Aretha’s big dream was to one day become a dairy producer, and she did it! Watch our short video and read her interview about her farm, Benco Holsteins.

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a dairy farmer? 

When I left home I earned an animal science degree and began a career in agriculture.  I began working on my husband’s farm after I had our kids and am thankful that my kids are enjoying the farm life that I was fortunate enough to experience.

What do you love most about being a dairy farmer?

I love working with the cows and seeing them do well under our care.  There is also a deep satisfaction in watching crops grow from seeds and harvesting them into feed for your animals.

What is the best piece of advice that you have received from a fellow dairy farmer? 

To put your cows first, and everything else will fall into place.

If you could dairy farm anywhere in the world, where would you go?

We farm in the greatest place.  The growing conditions are spectacular and it is a wonderful place to live.

What family members are involved with your operation, and what are their responsibilities?

My husband Bernard & I take care of the day to day work and our kids help out after school feeding calves and cleaning barns.

Are your kids interested in continuing the family business? If not, what do they “want to be when they grow up”? 

Our kids are all interested in different things.  It is too early to see if farming will be a part of their future!

What is the ultimate goal of your farm?

Provide high quality milk and create an environment for our kids to have the opportunity to continue the family business.

Do you have a favourite cow? Why is she your favourite?

I don’t have just one favorite cow, I seem to have a different favorite every month!

What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not farming?

I love hiking and skiing.

What’s your favourite dairy product?

I love cream in my coffee.

How long has this farm been in your family?

This farm has been in our family for over 60 years.

Aretha Westenenk

Aretha Westenenk, Benco Holsteins

Chilliwack, BC

About BC Dairy

BC Dairy is a not-for-profit organization representing BC’s dairy farmers.