When Gene Hartzler graduated from high school, he told his father quite directly, "I am NEVER going to milk another cow." It took a long time and an interesting career path before he eventually returned to his roots. Today, he not only works a 145-acre dairy, by himself, he also serves as Vice President of the growing Hartzler Family Dairy corporation.
Gene worked in banking, accounting, and trucking before returning to the farm. "I just like being my own boss and working outdoors with the animals too much," confesses the eldest Hartzler son. He also likes being just a little bit different. Not content to milk a standard black-and-white Holstein herd, he is mixing it up by adding a few "red" Holsteins to his herd of 35 cows. According to Gene, they don't give quite as much milk as black-and-white Holsteins, but their milk is a little richer in butterfat.
"The biggest drawback to this type of job is the seven-day work week ,"says Gene. His work begins at 4:30 a.m. and usually doesn't end before 7:30 p.m. This does not include the extra responsibilities required of him to help manage and run the Hartzler Family Dairy operations. "It's a way of life that gets into your blood, and it's not for everyone," he adds.
Gene and his wife, Patricia , live on their farm with their two sons, Chris and Zach. When asked if his sons will carry on the family farming tradition, Gene laughs. "It's about 50-50 right now. My oldest just wants to play ball all the time--just like I did--but my youngest is an eager assistant. We'll see," he says.
Gene Hartzler now serves as the President of Hartzler Family Dairy corporation. He no longer works on the farms but is one of our milk drivers and delivers milk 5 days a week to stores all over in Ohio. His wife, Patricia, works in the office and helps to run the accounting part of things for the business. His son Chris graduated from school and is working as an athletic trainer. Zach is now attending college.
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Two out of three Americans fail to get enough calcium, which remains one of the nutrients most likely to be lacking in our diets -- particularly among women. For women who rarely drink a glass of milk with their meals, nutrition experts say milk-based coffee drinks like lattes can be an easy way to correct calcium shortfalls.
"..The Cream Rises to the top"
Whether you drink it straight from the bottle (we won't tell your mom), or from a favorite glass, there's one thing you need to do first: SHAKE BEFORE DRINKING! That's because our milk is all natural and the cream rises to the top -- that's what makes our milk healthier and tastier than most!