Close
Close

Farming


Soul of Farming: A Good Farm Dog [Photo Essay]

by Rootstock Editor

Sept. 9, 2019

by Rootstock Editor


"There’s another quote I like: ‘Lord, let me be the person that my dog thinks I am.’"

– David Kline, Organic Valley farmer


Organic Valley has cherished the Kline family’s contributions to organic and to our cooperative community for nearly 20 years. David Kline has always spoken and written so eloquently about how we farm, and in this Soul of Farming portrait, he speaks about the important contribution of a good farm dog.

David is not only a lover of good dogs, he also cares deeply for the wild animals that call his farm home. Back in spring 2002, when Rootstock was a print magazine, he wrote about the arrival of spring on the farm and how his family changed their pasture management schedule to accommodate nesting wild birds. 

“What has worked well on our farm is to lightly graze one field when the grass reaches six to eight inches and then let it go for hay,” David wrote. “This allows the grassland birds time for nest-building, egg-laying, and raising their families before the field is cut. Some years, we’ll wait an extra week or ten days to cut... Our goal is to see flying young bobolinks. In good years we have counted up to 45 singing males in one 45-acre field.”

David, along with all the farmers who are part of the Organic Valley cooperative, loves animals and cares about making them happy and healthy. This passion has kept us doing what we do for 30-plus years. 

And David’s not kidding about Rosie. She really is the best farm dog!

Rosie the brown and white terrier sits on David’s lap and he pets her.

 


We’re pretty sure a farm isn’t a farm without a dog. For your extra enjoyment, here are more very good doggos from our Organic Valley farms.


 

In the milking barn, Amy smiles while her dog licks her face.

Amy Koenig gets some puppy love in between rounds of milking. (Jumpin’ Jerseys farm, Wisconsin)

A large white dog sniffs a brown chicken being held by a girl in a pink dress.

Did you know gentle-giant Great Pyrenees dogs make excellent guard dogs for chickens and other livestock? (Toews family farm, Colorado)

A three-legged dog stands next to a fence that a calf peeks through.

Even three-legged dogs make the best farm dogs! (Perkins family farm, West Virginia)

A yellow lab sits in the driver’s seat in a blue farm tractor.

“Just keeping your seat warm, Pops.” (Hoffner family farm, North Carolina)

A dog climbs a hay bale to be with the woman kneeling on top.

“Hey hooman! Wait for me!” This husky will not be left behind! (CR View Organic Dairy, Illinois)

<p>Old dogs teach the next generation of puppers how to bring joy to the farm, just like our farmers are guiding the next generation of young farmers! (Klaphake family farm, Minnesota)</p>

Old dogs teach the next generation of puppers how to bring joy to the farm, just like our farmers are guiding the next generation of young farmers! (Klaphake family farm, Minnesota)

A woman smiles at the camera while holding her yellow lab, which lovingly snuggles into her neck.

There’s always time for puppy snuggles in between farm chores. (Charvin Organic Farms, Pennsylvania)

A yellow lab with a pink collar naps in the grass.

An important lesson from our dogs: Farming is hard work, so take plenty of naps. (Double J Jerseys, Oregon)