South-Central Kentucky Dirty Jobs: Dairy Farmer

By: Daniel Kemp Email
By: Daniel Kemp Email

This year, the summer drought burdened many Kentucky farmers for months.

Regardless, if conditions are hot and dry or wet and cold, work on the farm still has to be done.

WBKO's Daniel Kemp found out first-hand, as he spent an evening at a local farm to learn what a dairy farmer goes through each and every day, continuing to find some of the area's dirtiest jobs.

It's not your normal 9 to 5.

"Life on a dairy farm is quite a bit different than most other people's lives," admitted dairy farmer Carl Chaney, of Chaney's Dairy Farm.

Quite a bit different and quite a bit dirty, especially in the pouring rain. This dairy runs shifts at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m.

And for Carl, working on a dairy farm is a way of life.

"Our family started farming here in 1888 and dad started milking cows in 1940. So we've been milking cows for about 62 years," Carl assured.

But for this city boy, it's an experience as fresh as the nearly 300 gallons of milk pumped through Chaney's Dairy Farm each day.

First the cows go through a rinse.

"They've got some dirt on them, especially on a wet day like today. And we're going to take this water and wash off as much mud and manure as possible," Carl said.

Followed by a pre-dip to ward off infection. After that, the Jerseys get a little pat dry before milking and I get a little coaching.

"Alright, you got four milkers and you got four teets. You're going to put one on each one of them and we'll cut the milker on and just put the milker on one teet at a time," Carl explained.

And after a bit of practice, I'm milking like a "Grade A" dairy farmer.

"Very good Daniel, very good, buddy," Carl commended.

But while I'm only help for one day, Carl says dairy farmers are imperative to South-Central Kentucky and through the years, he's watched many area farms decline.

"Probably about 12 years ago there were 50 dairy's in Warren County. Today, there's probably 20. So every single one that's left are very dedicated in what they do," Carl assured.

Including Carl's farmhand, fifteen-year-old Brandon Gabbard, who walked me through feeding a calf not even a week old.

It's just another part of a job that requires some dirty work, but a job necessary for you to get that good fresh, wholesome milk."

Carl added that a cow's body temperature is about 100-degrees, so the milk must be cooled to right above freezing and kept there until a truck comes and picks it up.

If you have any dirty job ideas for Daniel to try, send him an e-mail at daniel.kemp@wbko.com.


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