Dairy Program Specialist and Dairy Judging Team Coach Bonnie Ayars has been featured in a chapter in the book, "The Land of Milk & Money: Lessons Learned & Business Earned from Women in Dairy." In the chapter devoted to Ayars, she discusses lessons learned growing up on a dairy farm, working as part of the Ayars Family Farm, and her role as a dairy educator.
One of the themes stressed in the chapter is understanding that dairy farming is more than a business, it's a lifestyle. "Nothing about farming is just a business - there are networks of communities and lifestyles attached to it. You are never just a dairy farmer because your day doesn't end at 5:00 when you get off work; your life and your identity become tied to the joy and the trials of the work itself" (pp 85-87).
Another theme is perseverance and grit. "Grit is more than just an identifier; it's a way of being, as Bonnie's story proves that the backbone of the country's dairy industry consists of people who are capable of being knocked down repeatedly by the hardest blows, but then able to get right back up again with a smile and a story to share" (p 88).
"In the Land of Milk & Money" focuses on Ohio female dairy entrepreneurs and their personal and professional struggles and victories along the road to success. The book is written by Ohio State alum Abbe Turner and her daughter Madeline Turner. You can learn more about "In the Land of Milk & Money" and the Turners here.