Holt Creek Jerseys owner and founder Ben Gotschall recently appeared on the Ranching Reboot podcast to discuss his transition from ranching in the Nebraska Sandhills to dairy grazing in coastal Maine, where his family and the Holt Creek Jerseys cowherd now reside. Ranching Reboot host Red Hills Rancher asks some good questions and provides some interesting context to the discussion as it relates to the similarities between ranching and dairy grazing on this podcast episode:
On this podcast, Ben discusses the mindset of running your dairy like a ranch, identifies some of the opportunities in the dairy grazing industry, and outlines the transition from grain-fed to grass-fed dairy, which he is demonstrating as the dairy manager at Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment. Ben has over 30 years of ranching and dairy production experience, and has operated and managed several types of grass-fed dairy operations, from producing commodity milk to direct-marketing value-added products.
Wolfe’s Neck Center is a farmer training and research farm that enrolls apprentices through the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) program. On another episode of Ranching Reboot, Joe Tomandl of the DGA outlines the vision of that program, which is the only agricultural apprenticeship sanctioned by the Bureau of Labor and is an “earn while you learn” program that pays interns and apprentices as they receive on-the-job training.
If you or someone you know is looking to receive knowledge and training in dairy grazing, this podcast might inspire you to reach out and see what the DGA at Wolfe’s Neck has to offer. Wolfe’s Neck accepts apprentice application on a rolling basis, and can train up to 4 apprentices at a time. To learn more, email Ben Gotschall at firstname.lastname@example.org and find out if a dairy grazing apprenticeship might be a good fit for you, a family member, or a potential employee of your business.