Everyone in Amy’s life benefits from her intelligence, generosity and energy, including the 50 mostly Jersey cows she pastures on her farm in Sauk County, Wisconsin.
She was recognized for all that and more in 2015, when she won Sauk County’s Outstanding Young Farmer Award and then was named second runner-up statewide. The Outstanding Young Farmer county and state awards are given based on a farmer’s contributions in three areas: agriculture, soil and water conservation, and contributions to her community, state or nation.
Amy went to college for a degree in business finance and worked at that for a couple of years, but the farm had more of a hold on her than she realized. In 2009, Amy got low interest loans through the USDA Farm Services Agency so she could buy the farm from her mom. “It was really hard,” Amy says.
Since then she has continued the legacy her dad, David Raboine, started in 1996 when he transitioned their acreage to organic and started shipping milk to Organic Valley.
“A lot of people ask if I would switch to conventional farming. Why would I? This is the way I grew up farming. Our cows are low-maintenance because I focus on preventive measures like a good diet, low stress and plenty of pasture in season. They don’t produce a huge amount of milk because I don’t push them, but they live long, healthy lives and they give me a calf every year and that’s more important to me than how many pounds of milk they can be forced to give a day.”
pounds of milk they can be forced to give a day.”