Prior to 2008, Kevin Brubaker, Williamsburg, Pa., worked construction. On weekends, he helped local farmers.
During a two-month construction layoff in 2008, he became a herdsman at a local dairy. That temporary employment altered his career. “I came back to work and told my supervisor I was going to milk cows full-time,” remembered Kevin. “They didn’t think I was serious.”
Kevin submitted his resignation and began working full-time for a local dairy. In 2010, Kevin and Tonya bought 115 cows and rented a farm. Four years later, they purchased Tonya’s home farm.
Today, between the two farms, the Brubakers milk 500 cows on 600 acres. A family affair, Kevin and Tonya’s daughter Loran and her husband Wade work in the business. Kevin’s brother and Tonya’s father also help on the farm, in additional to hired employees.
Quality forage is critical for this dairyman. “It’s important that we guarantee forage – haylage and corn silage – for our cows,” Kevin explained. “Crop insurance offers us that forage protection.”
“This year was a good forage year. Last year was not,” recalled Kevin. “Last year’s drought conditions triggered our first insurance payment to help us cover our forage costs. Farmers with minimum insurance were hard pressed to find feed.”
“While it’s a business expense for us, we need crop insurance to cover our 600 acres every year,” Kevin said.