At Blue Sky Farms, our employees are our priority. We work to ensure a safe workplace through PPE for our employees, share safety topics at our monthly meetings, track safety incidence rates and work with third-party safety companies to make sure we’re on track as an organization. We foster a team atmosphere that values our employees. We are a diversified team – in experiences and backgrounds – and we’re committed to teaching and developing people in their roles.
We’ve created a culture of treating animals with care and respect. We work with dairy nutritionists and veterinarians to ensure our animals of all stages of life receive the best nutrition and animal care. Best management practices are developed and employees are trained on protocols.
Blue Sky Farms participates in the National Dairy FARM Program – Farmer’s Assuring Responsible Management – which ensures the highest standards of animal care. We also work closely with our Quality Assurance Director from Select Milk Producers.
The life cycle of crops is certainly noticeable around Blue Sky Farms. Cows eat feed, which is converted to milk; nutrients from manure are used to fertilize the soil that produces crops to feed our cows. We utilize nutrient management plans to keep the land and cows in balance. It’s our responsibility to care for the land.
We recycle the water we use for cooling milk, flushing barns and irrigating crops. We also recycle the sand that we use for bedding. And, we’re tracking our water use to learn how we can improve our water conservation in the future.
When it comes to our use of energy, we’re learning to do more with less. We utilize variable speed drives where possible for the parlor and irrigation. We’re starting to utilize energy-efficient LED lighting and we track our utility usage and fuel usage by location. And, we use controllers to automate the process for cooling cows – fans are set to automatically turn on at certain temperatures.
At Blue Sky Farms we appreciate our local communities. We think beyond the farm gate to our neighbors and local community. We’re involved in the Chamber of Commerce, sponsor community events – particularly youth organizations – and give back when we can. Youth support includes activities of our employees’ children, youth camps, 4-H, FFA, Friona Kidz Building Camp and “Snack Pak 4 Kids.” We also support our local Farm Bureau, Lions Club, fire department, livestock shows, sporting events and church fundraisers. Additionally, we provide tours at each site for local schools and community groups.
We understand the importance of partnering with fellow dairy producers and industry leaders to find the best solutions for marketing, business and legislative challenges. We support and are involved with Select Milk Producers Cooperative, Texas Association of Dairyman, U.S. Dairy Education and Training Consortium, North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, High Plains Dairy Conference, College and Veterinary Medicine Student Groups, Regional Water Planning and local dairy peer groups.