Learn how the VanderMade family focuses their mission on care – for their cows, their community and the environment:
At 18, many people remember moving out of their parent’s home, heading to college or starting their first career. For Lambert VanderMade, this milestone in life was spent moving to a new country to pursue his and his family’s dream of dairy farming.
Lambert grew up on a small dairy and hog farm in the southern part of the Netherlands. The crowded area couldn’t support his family’s dream of dairy farming, so he and his parents packed their belongings for Sherwood, Ohio to establish VanderMade Dairy. Their dream now has expanded into a 1,400-cow dairy.
“On our farms, our mission is to care for cows, the environment and our community,” explains Lambert.
Caring for dairy cows
The VanderMade family’s commitment to cows shows in the way they put the cows’ needs first. In fact, the VanderMades designed a separate dairy farm to meet the unique requirements of 4 year old cows.
FreshMade Dairy, a 600-cow facility for mature animals, was built two miles down the road from the home farm.
“We want our cows to live a long, happy life,” explains Lambert. “A lot of people wondered why we chose to build another farm, but the answer is simple. It’s part of our mission.”
Care for the environment is a responsibility of every farmer who uses natural resources.
“We always say there is nothing greener than farming. I mean we grow a plant, harvest that plant and feed it to our animals. The nutrients in the manure then go back into the earth,” explains Lambert. “It’s a full circle.”
Commitment to community
Dairy farming is about a commitment to your community. A few years ago, Lambert and his family became part owners in a local creamery, Arps Dairy, Inc.
“My wife and I thought it would be really cool to understand how people look at milk or dairy products and to offer an honest story,” Lambert says. “Growing within your community - all for the benefit of the community is gratifying. And being a part of Arps Dairy has been really rewarding that way.”