ST Farms Dairy

Name: Chris Heiser
Age: 17
Chapter: Lamar FFA
Parents: Marie and Greg Heiser
Advisor: Larry Bacchus

When Chris Heiser of Lamar, Ark., received a youth loan from Farm Credit Services of Western Arkansas, he knew what he wanted to do. He always dreamed of owning cattle so he bought Dexter cattle and embarked on a milk production business.

He started milking by hand and then began producing butter by utilizing a homemade device that would churn the butter. The device, which utilizes a mixer and a jar, was designed and constructed by Heiser.

"Through my animal science classes, I learned a lot about how to work with and manage cattle," he said. "This really got me interested because I enjoyed learning and being around them."

Soon, members of his community began to ask when he was going to start the dairy because they wanted to buy fresh dairy products. With his parents owning a restaurant, he also knew that he’d be able to market his products through that avenue.

In the next two years, Heiser plans to expand his Dexter herd from two cows to a minimum of 10. He also wants to further develop his flavored butter line. Heiser currently is making cinnamon butter but would like to offer a minimum of five flavors. He would also like to develop a line of cheese products and offer at least two cheese products to his customers.

The high school senior plans to major in agricultural business and hopes to either manage a ranch or large farming operation after college.