1984 - Volume #8, Issue #3, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Relief Milker Service Popular With DairymenDairy farmers in northern Illinois who want to take time off from milking can rest easy now. A relief milker is available for hiring, enabling dairymen and their families to "escape" when they so desire.
Relief milkers aren't all that plentiful and usually haven't decided to make that their profession. But David and Sally Mather, of Belvidere, have.
It all started by accident. David, who was born in Gary, Ind., disliked the city and moved to Missouri with his wife, Sally. It just so happened that a personal friend of David's in Missouri was a dairy farmer and needed someone to milk his herd of 16 cows for one week.
David took the job. He liked milking and caring for the cows and decided that doing custom relief milking for other dairymen might be a good thing to get into.
"Our service is handy for dairy farmers," says Sally. "They like to take vacations, but it's hard to find an experienced, trustworthy milker."
The Mathers also will do the milking if a farmer is shorthanded, or if he's injured and unable to work.
So far, response to their relief milking service has been good. "There's been a lot of interest expressed," notes David. "People have told me that it's a good idea and that I'll have more jobs than I can handle when I get better known."
The Mathers prefer to milk within easy commuting distance of their home in Belvidere, Ill., but say they would travel longer distances if lodging arrangements could be worked out.
Prices they charge vary depending on the size of the herd, the number and kinds of chores to be done and the amount of travel. Prices usually range from 35 to 60 cents per cow per day.
To supplement his on-the-farm training, David has attended an artificial insemination course and has taken agricultural classes at a local technical school in Wisconsin. Sally, who often times works with David, is a veterinary medical technician.
The Mathers will do either emergency or regularly scheduled milkings, although they prefer several days advance notice. "I like to go in the day or two before and see how the farmer does it ù everyone does it differently," explains David.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David Mather, Belvidere, Ill. 61008.
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