Need a Great Milking Parlor? Burn Down Your Old One!

A few weeks ago we introduced you to the Radtkes who looked at their farm and what they needed to make a living and then chose grass based, organic dairying over raising grass fed beef. With the decision to start into dairy, Rich and Carol began remodeling an old pole barn on their place to be their milking parlor. They got a USDA Beginning Farmer loan to cover the cost of some equipment and the milking herd. And then things took an unexpected turn. Rich was just getting off the phone after talking to a farmer about some Jersey's he wanted to purchase. Carol had gone into the kitchen to turn off the coffee pot when he heard her calling to him, "Rich! The barn is on fire!" Though Rich was able to save the animals, there was nothing to be done for the barn and it burned to the ground. Worse, they learned shortly after that the barn did not have the insurance they thought it had. There would be no insurance money to rebuild the barn. They'd used up their savings, and they thought they were done. And that's when their community stepped in. With the help of a local businessman and donations from friends, family and supporters everywhere, they were able to put together the funds to build a new milking barn. Rich and Carol outside their new milking facility. Photo courtesy of the Dairy Star.[/capt

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