Video posted on March 24, 2016 at 5:00 am CST
To the Hemmes, success means staying true to your core values. So when economic realities threaten those values — which, for them are family and Christ — they buckle down and make the needed changes.
David and Janet Hemme live in a small house on a farm in mid-Missouri. During the first part of their married life they raised hogs, but right around the time their fifth child was on his way, a handful of large meat-packing corporations squeezed out all of the small, independent farmers . That year, the Hemmes lost $300,000.
The major loss on the hogs was a huge setback, but being on a farm allowed them the lifestyle they wanted for their family and children, so they did what they had to do. The Hemmes switched over to dairy farming, and have milked over 150 cows twice a day for the past 20 years. And when insurance premiums rose too high for the family to afford, Janet got a job at local school.
All five kids have returned to live by home. Their daughter’s family lives in a nearby town. Three of their sons are grown and graduated from college, and they all work on the family farm. It poses quite the economic challenge, for one farm to support four families (five, once their youngest son graduates college this May). Because of that, the Hemmes are working to make another change – but one that’s proactive instead of reactive. They’re starting a craft cheesery.
“It’s something that I have absolutely no experience in. I’m 57 years old and I’m starting a whole new career,” David said.
David and Janet Hemme have no experience making cheese, but they and their sons are heavily invested in the creamery.