Four generations of the Jones family currently have a hand in the success of their dairy farm, Jones Dairy, in Veguita, N.M. Dale Jones, a third-generation dairy farmer, enjoys spending every day farming with his family, including his parents, Ron and Linda; his wife, Susie; and their three children, Brandon (married to Jennifer), Bradley (married to Micaela) and Brittney (married to James Padilla).
The Jones family has a long history in the dairy industry. Dale’s grandfather hauled milk for many years, deciding in 1946 to start milking his own herd. What started with just a handful of cows grew over the years as more generations joined the family business. Today, the Joneses look after a milking herd of about 3,000 Holsteins on their main farm and another 800 Holstein and Jersey cows at a nearby farm. The family also raises their own replacement heifers and farms about 3,000 acres of cropland.
To keep up with the demands of fieldwork and caring for their herd, everyone has a role to play on the dairy. Ron is still active with daily chores and operations, while Linda steps in where needed and assists with farm tours. Dale and Susie’s children all recently graduated or are enrolled in agriculture-related college programs. Bradley and his wife, Micaela, both recently graduated and returned to live and work on the dairy. Brandon and his wife, Jennifer, attend veterinary school and work on the dairy during the summer. Brittney is seeking a degree in agriculture science and helps out on the dairy in the summer as well.
Since day one, the animals have been the top priority. Each cow is assessed daily to maintain health and productivity. Between weekly vet visits for general herd health and a check-in with the herd nutritionist every couple weeks, the Jones family ensures their Holstein cows and Jersey cows are getting the optimal feed rations and healthcare for them to be happy, healthy and comfortable.
Beyond their day-to-day life on the farm, the Joneses take time to support the dairy industry as a whole through educational and promotional efforts. They truly enjoy welcoming the public for tours so families can see the cows up close, check out the facilities and learn about the farm-to-table process. Dale and Susie also stay involved in dairy and agriculture-focused youth programs through supporting the county fair, hosting dairy showing and education workshops, as well as coaching the local dairy judging youth teams.