Visiting a dairy farm is a unique experience – to see, first hand, the hard work and dedication a family puts into their livelihood is quite remarkable. You get out of the car with the intention of seeing what someone does for a living and you leave feeling that you have peered through the window of their life. Here is Debbie’s account of a recent farm visit and tour with Brent Munk.
It’s a cold November morning when I drive through the fog to get to Brent’s Riverview Dairy in Amalga, Utah. For some reason 32 degrees seems colder in Cache County this morning than 32 degrees would feel in Salt Lake…….humidity I guess.What an amazingly well-run dairy and, despite the cold, everything was clean and organized, especially the 20-stall parallel milking barn – spotless!! Brent met me in his “I wish I had them on” Carharts and looked every bit the part of a hardy outdoorsman, including his rubber boots and ubiquitous camo hat.Brent and his two brothers and two sons run the dairy and work in a cohesive and unique way. Each one of the owners owns their own cows which encourages all to have a stake in the operation. Between the three brothers, they all have their own expertise. Along with many other duties, Brent takes care of the breeding; his brothers, Jerry and Rodney, take care of feed purchasing, machinery maintenance and herd accounting.Their father, who at 86 just had a knee replacement, purchased the dairy in 1969 and with the help of his sons built everything on the farm themselves. All of the buildings and corrals are well laid out to maximize the land. The Bear River borders their property which makes for an amazingly beautiful setting.
Corn, alfalfa, barley, and grass hay is grown on 1100 acres for their approximately 500 milking cows, and 1200 young stock. Currently 150 baby calves are bottle fed.As I walked down the rows of cows, I was greeted with curious stares and silent contentedness as they ate a balanced diet formulated for them by a nutritionist. Brent is proud of the milk-fat that his 100% Holstein herd produces and his efforts have been rewarded by being #3 in the rocky mountain region for production.Brent has many interests. He’s on the Board of Directors for the Utah Dairy Commission; on the Board of Directors of his coop – Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) – not to mention his many hobbies. In years past he was a chariot racer and attained 2nd in the WORLD at a race in Reno. He is a world-class, tournament-going bass fisherman that he and his sons do in a “really cool” boat with a “really big” engine that will go 75 mph. He loves hunting and excels at that also, which requires the companionship of his German Shorthair dogs that he breeds and sells all over the world.The pace Brent keeps seems exhausting, but he gets a twinkle in his eye most when he talks about his 7 grandchildren, wife and sons. He’s an amazing person with multi-talents and we’re lucky to have him serving on our board and producing high quality milk that we all enjoy.