Burdock Hills | Hastings, Michigan
Home to 690 cows, Burdock Hills Dairy, LLC, was established in 1973 by Dan and Mary Javor. When Dan and Mary bought the farm, they started milking only 30 cows. Through the years, they have seen many ups and downs, but still cherish the farmer lifestyle. They raised three children, one who joined as a partner in the dairy farm after college. Son, Krist who now manages the field work aspect of the dairy farm and helping out with the cows when needed.
“Some days don’t go as planned on a dairy farm, but I can’t think of any other job that would suit me better. I think many jobs can feel this way to people, except with being a dairy farmer, I get to be my own boss and make the decisions on how to handle the situation and not as a supervisor,” said Dan.
Along with milking cows, Dan, Mary and Krist farm 1,200 acres of corn, alfalfa and wheat to feed and bed their cows. The Javor family also hauls their own milk to milk processing plants like Heritage Ridge Creamery which is about 85 miles from the farm. Although delivering milk to a processing plant is unusual for a farm this size, Burdock Hills Dairy L.L.C. prides itself on being involved with the extra step to ensure the milk is the highest quality possible to make dairy products like cheese. Many farms choose to not deliver their own milk to a processing facility due to extra labor and equipment needed.
“A perk of delivering our milk to Heritage Ridge Creamery is that we can bring cheese home after leaving the plant,” Dan said. “My favorite cheese is sharp cheddar, but we make sure we always have plenty of cheese around to snack on for the family and our employees.”