VETERAN TAKES MILITARY EXPERIENCE BACK TO THE FAMILY FARM
After serving in the military from 2011 to 2017, Jason Workman, along with his wife, Lesley, decided it was time to come back to the family’s two dairy farms in Woodsfield, Ohio. The Workmans enjoyed working with cows growing up and wanted that same experience for their children, Owen and Aubrey.
Growing up on a farm taught Jason a strong work ethic that helped him thrive in the military. The military taught him how to set goals, that failures can be learning experiences and success comes from perseverance.
“Military experience taught us to take control and have a more aggressive drive for our future. We know success doesn’t just fall into your lap. It is something we must continue to work hard for,” Jason says.
The couple has been working hard since they made it back to the family’s dairy farms. Jason and Lesley are the fifth generation to milk cows at Blue Sky Farm, a 100% registered Brown Swiss dairy. They also formed a partnership with Lesley’s parents, Duane and Barb Landefield, to start Next Generation Dairy and are the third generation to farm there.
Since their return to Ohio, they have doubled the size of their herd, installed a robotic milking system and built a new freestall barn. Investing in the robot was an easy decision, according to Jason, because they felt it would give them better control of their time and allow them to utilize that time better.
“The robot allows a farm our size to compete with the efficiencies of larger dairies,” Jason says. “We value cow comfort and saw how a robot could help improve that.”
With the robot in place, the Workmans have seen improvements in milk quality, production, reproduction and overall cow comfort. Their DFA field representative, Jeryl Thrash, has praised them for their cooperative spirit and drive to always be the best they can be. As they continue to strive for success in their operation, they plan to grow the herd and add more robots. They want to continue to improve efficiencies and forage quality, as well as build new heifer and dry cow facilities.
“Military experience taught us to take control and have a more aggressive drive for our future. We know success doesn’t just fall into your lap. It is something we must continue to work hard for,”
While Jason and Lesley are working hard every day, they give credit to their parents for their help along the way. Both of their fathers are actively involved in crop and field work and they say their mothers are their biggest supporters and are always ready to help with the kids when needed.