An Evening on the Farm Under the Mooon!
This event offers 2.5 hours of continuing education (pending prior-approval by CDR)
This event generously supported by:
In an act of service, we are partnering with WaterStep for our annual conference this year. WaterStep is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing safe and clean drinking water to those in need. We ask that you consider bringing 1-3 pairs of shoes that you (or your family members) no longer wear to donate to WaterStep. Any style of shoes accepted but sneakers are preferred. Our goal is to collect at least 100 pairs of shoes to help provide safe water for over 30 individuals! Learn more about WaterStep at https://waterstep.org/
Speakers & Tour Guides
Carl Chaney: Carl is the owner of Chaney’s Dairy Barn in Bowling Green, KY. Having started in 1940 when his father began milking two Jersey cows by hand, the Chaney family has embraced innovation and change to ensure the continued success of their operation ever since. In 2003, Carl diversified the farm by opening Chaney’s Dairy Barn to combat low milk prices. Now, 20 years later, the ice cream parlor and restaurant made 30,000 gallons of ice cream last year and will surpass that in 2023. Remaining humbled by the support of the community, Chaney’s expanded to provide farm tours that provide a critical component to educating visitors about the dairy industry and food production. Focusing on cow comfort and milk quality, Carl embraced innovation again when he installed the Lely A4 Robotic Milking System and worked with his daughter, Elizabeth, to found the J.R. Chaney Bottling Co to process their own milk, which is sold in multiple locations for Kentuckians to enjoy.
Gil and Mary Cowles – Pleasant Hill Farms
Growing up with access to a farm is one of the greatest blessings in life. Gil R Cowles had that opportunity and set a goal at a very early age to always keep the family farm going. Both sets of his Grandparents lived and worked on their respective farms. He spent as much time as possible on those farms during the first eighteen years of his life. Beef cattle, specifically registered Angus Beef cattle became his passion. He became a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a major in Animal Science Agriculture, found a job in ethical pharmaceuticals and went to work while continuing to build the beef cattle operation.
In 1990, he acquired his Grandparents farm and increased the Angus beef cattle herd. In 1992, he married the love of his life, Mary Taylor and they began their farm life together. Mary also graduated from Western Kentucky University and had a tremendous career as a player and coach of the WKU women’s basketball team. Her first career opportunity came as a high school teacher and coach, back to WKU and finally on to The Ensworth School.
In 1994 they acquired Gil’s Great Grandparents farm from his Great Aunt and Great Uncle This allowed them to have a registered herd of Angus cattle and a commercial herd of beef cattle. In addition, they had a flock of sheep. This is also when they branded their operation, Pleasant Hill Farms, due to the fact that the farm deed referred to Pleasant Hill in several directional statements.
Time moved on and over the next few years the farming operation grew as did their family. Corbin, Caroline and Catherine were born and grew up in a barn, in a tractor or in a field. They were involved in 4-H, FFA and the National Junior Angus association.
Each of them completed high school and one by one attended Oklahoma State University. Corbin is an OSU graduate, he served on the Board of Directors of the National Junior Angus Association, attended UK’s graduate school and is a licensed auctioneer, employed by Schrader Real Estate, spends as much time as possible on the farm and is involved in the farming operation. Caroline is an OSU graduate, she served on the Board of Directors of the National Junior Angus Association and is currently a Medical Assistant planning to further her education in the medical field. She spends as much time as she can find on the farm. Catherine is a senior at OSU studying speech pathology and audiology. She will use her skills teaching and helping others. When she graduates, her goal is to return to the farm and embrace all that the farm has to offer.
The beef cattle operation has grown substantially over the years. Pleasant Hill Farms has both registered Angus and registered Simmental beef cattle. They host two sales per year. The last Saturday in February is the Annual Spring Production Sale featuring bulls and cows. The Fall Production sale is held the second Saturday in October and features cows as well as genetic lots.
Mary and Gil continue to live their lifelong dream of keeping the family farm going. Every day there are new ideas, new experience and new opportunities. They are looking forward to opening a farm store soon and offering products produced on the farm.
Elizabeth Chaney Lunsford: Elizabeth is a fifth generation farmer and daughter of Carl Chaney. Elizabeth received a BS in Agriculture Economics from the University of Kentucky with a minor in Business. During her time at the University of Kentucky, Elizabeth was part of the UK Dairy Club, the UK Dairy Farm, The UK Agribusiness Club and served as a UK Agriculture Ambassador. Currently Elizabeth is the Territory Sales Representative for Kentucky and Tennessee for Alltech. Her background in ag economics and business paired with her upbringing on the dairy farm have allowed Elizabth to play a vital part in the growth and success Chaney’s Dairy Farms’ agritourism business. In 2017, Elizabeth, with the help of her husband and family, founded J.R. Chaney Bottling Company, a Grade A facility monitored by USDA, FDA and state regulatory agencies that brought her grandfathers dream to life of seeing his milk one day sold in stores.
Megan Taylor: Megan is an experienced nutritionist with CPC Commodities. She develops feeding programs for dairy cattle in several states in the southeast and calls Glasgow, Kentucky home. She enjoys working with farmers to help them maximize profitability while optimizing cow production and health. Her journey to dairy nutrition involves BS and MS degrees in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky and a PhD from Virginia Tech, specializing in mineral absorption and metabolism. Even with her impressive accolades, Megan remains grounded and down-to-earth. She’s a proud mother of two amazing daughters, raising them with the same passion and dedication she pours into her work.