Lin-Crest Farm, a third generation dairy farm near Linwood is the 2015 winner of the Kansas Distinguished Dairy Award, presented by Kansas State University Research and Extension and Kansas Farmer magazine.
Rob and Lisa Leach own Lin-Crest farms and operate it with the help of their three daughters, Taylor, Erin and Sophie, who are growing up as the fourth generation on the farm in the farm house that was built in 1884 an has been home to all previous generations.
Rob's parents, Robin and Lana Leach, added the dairy cows to the family farm operation in the mid- 1960s. The family dairy is small, 45 Jersey and Holstein cows, and that is deliberate, Rob Leach says.
"We are really about high quality genetics and showing dairy cattle," he said. "To show dairy cows, you need to have a calf every year and that means producing milk. So, we have the dairy farm as a business to support our show cows."
Lin-Crest Farm is 100% artificial insemination and there is no bull in residence on the farm.
Lisa Leach says that enables the family to focus the herd breeding program on increasing the type and longevity of each successive generation. "We enjoy the challenge of seeing each new generation of animals improve over their dams. Every new heifer calf holds so much possibility," she said.
Both Rob and Lisa were raised on dairy farms and they enjoy knowing that they are giving their daughters the opportunity to grow up the way they did, installing in them the pride, passion and hard work it takes to operate a dairy farm.
Rob's widowed mother lives in the family home on the dairy farm.
"After Dad died, I didn't want her living all alone," Rob says. "We added on a bedroom, bathroom and office for her on the back of the house."
She still works a real estate sales job and helps on the farm.
"I work as a firefighter, doing ten 24-hour shifts every month," he said. "On those days, Mom and Lisa are in charge of the dairy and the milking. Mom is up every morning to help get the cows in to the milking parlor. It has been great to have her here."
Read more about the Leach family and the Distinguished Dairy Award in your May edition of Kansas Farmer.