Skip to main content
Advertising

Picture This

Seattle Times photographers offer a glimpse into what inspires their best visual reporting.

October 6, 2012 at 8:26 PM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

A day in a Washington dairy farmer's life


ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Walter Schoenbachler, 81, walks through Sildahl Farms after bringing the cows from pasture to be milked and fed on a recent afternoon near Stanwood, Wash. The 115-acre dairy, near the Stillaguamish River, is named after a valley in Switzerland where the Schoenbachler family has worked as dairy farmers for the last 500 years. Walter is mostly retired, but acts as a "consultant," said Fred Schoenbachler, his son. He also brings in the cows from pasture by bike or motorcycle. "He's all business," said Fred. "Do the job and get it done right."

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Sildahl Farms, a dairy near the Stillaguamish River in Snohomish County, is home to 125 registered Holstein milking cows.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Cliff Henning works in his tractor to create corn silage for his dairy cows at Cliffhaven Jersey Farm near Stanwood, Washington. Washington dairy farmers grow a large portion of their cows' feed to control costs and to provide a buffer against volatile grain prices, which can be caused by factors like this year's Midwestern drought. Also, using the manure to fertilize the fields provides an environmentally sound use of the manure's nutrients, said Mark Leader, of the Washington State Dairy Products Commission.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Fred Schoenbachler works at Sildahl Farms near Stanwood, Wash. on a recent afternoon. The family uses grass and corn silage to help alleviate the raising prices of grain and hay.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Walter Schoenbachler, 81, prepares to ride his bike home at Sildahl Farms near Stanwood, Wash. Schoenbachler helps with his son's dairy, located near the Stillaguamish River. Mark Leader, of the Washington State Dairy Products Commission, said 98 percent of all Washington dairies are family owned.

To see more pictures from Snohomish County dairies, please visit the gallery.

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

PREVIOUS POSTS

Advertising