Down on the Farm

From cereal at breakfast to ice cream for dessert, milk is a major part of our daily lives. For us, getting milk is simple. We go to the store to buy a gallon, and then, whenever we need milk, we grab it from our refrigerator. What happens behind the scenes is a more intricate process. I went to Lenz View Dairy Farm in Bunceton, Missouri to capture the process.

Turns out, working on a dairy farm is a demanding and smelly occupation. In Missouri, farming is typically a family business. At Lenz View Dairy, James Lenz and his brother, David Lenz, work with David’s sons Jon Lenz and Adam Lenz.

Jon enjoys working out in nature. “You’re your own boss,” Jon said. Listening to country music while riding a tractor is his favorite part of his day.

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A cow peeks through a hole in the milking barn wall at Lenz View Dairy Farm in Bunceton, Missouri on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. The cows get milked twice a day by the Lenz family. (Lede and sense of place)

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Even though the Lenz family cleans the floor twice a day, the milking barn is quick to be covered with mud and manure. (Perspective and transition)

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James Lenz watches the cows as they are milked. Lenz has been working at the Lenz View Dairy since he was 8 years old. (Portrait)

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A cow peaks its head into the feeding barn to eat some hay. Usually dairy cattle graze fields but during the winter months the farmers provide hay. (Transition framing)

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A cow waits while it is milked. Cows have a strong sense of smell. They can smell things up to 6 miles away and their sense of smell can even protect them from predators. (Detail)

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Jon Lenz, left, and James Lenz work together to milk 84 cows. The job can take up to three hours and they milk the cows twice a day. (Relationship)

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A cow returns to the pasture as the sun sets. Most days at Lenz View Dairy begin with their first round of milking at 5:30 a.m. and they finish around 8 p.m. (Closer)

Video:

Script: Lenz View Dairy Script

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