I am Oregon agriculture.
My name is Darleen Sichley (formerly Mann) and my husband, two children and I run Abiqua Acres on the same land that was cultivated back in 1938. The Mann family has been dairy farming in the Willamette Valley for four generations. Our 100-acre farm is home to one of the nation’s few 100% registered Guernsey herds. We milk about 85 cows. They’re all girls and we affectionately call them our “ladies.” Grandpa Mann started with registered Guernseys in 1952. We grew up with them and have developed an outstanding herd that perfectly suits our family operation.
Guernseys are known for their high fat, high protein milk that is naturally high in beta carotene, which we think contributes to a healthy, wholesome product. There is a daily sense of accomplishment when the milk truck leaves and I know our best possible product is inside!
Our top priority is always cow care and comfort; the cows come first at our home. I wish people knew more about how much we truly care for our animals. We don’t take care of ourselves until all the animals are cared for. We also work with a great team including a veterinarian that makes monthly wellness visits and is always on call. A nutritionist helps us provide a balanced diet with the right amount of protein, fiber, fat and vitamins for our hard-working Ladies. A dedicated hay grower and a hoof trimmer, who gives our Ladies a wonderful pedicure, round out the team. It’s a 365 days-a-year job. While it is hard work, dairy farming is truly a labor of love and we enjoy seeing our success reflected in the health and happiness of our cows and our family. Home and work go hand in hand.
My father Alan and husband Ben are volunteer firefighters with the Silverton Fire Department; Ben for nearly 10 years and Alan for over 30. Giving back to the community is a big part of our family. It is easy for us to raise a steer most every year alongside our young dairy cows and donate the ground beef to the local food bank. Farmers Ending Hunger assists by paying for the processing. Since we have a product that not many are able to donate in bulk, we feel that this is an important way to contribute to our community. There is a great need in Oregon for help with food insecurity and farmers are uniquely able to contribute products in an amount that can do a lot of good and make a huge impact.
I hope you enjoyed hearing our farm’s story. Stop by our farm facebook page to see more, ask a question, or just to say hello.