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Newton County woman breeds dairy cows

By Staff
EXPERIENCED Jo Anne Nicholson of Newton County stands next to one of her dairy cows. Nicholson has been in the dairy business since she was a child. PHOTO BY PAULA MERRITT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By William F. West / community editor
Oct. 6, 2002
LAWRENCE A Newton County woman said she continues working on the family farm because she enjoys helping breed an award-winning herd of dairy cows.
Nicholson acknowledges the hard times facing farmers, who can produce but cannot get good prices for their commodities and who also endure increasing expenses and changing farm policies.
Potential for profits
Nicholson and her husband, Melvin, 67, work an 800-acre farm south of the Lawrence community. Assisting them is their youngest son, Ronny, who will soon turn 40.
About 250 acres is used to grow soybeans and another 250 acres is used to grow corn. The rest is either meadows or grazing land for about 120 Holstein cows.
The family has a tank capable of holding up to 20,000 pounds of milk, which is pumped into a Dairy Fresh tanker truck from Hattiesburg every other day.
Passionate about cows
The Nicholson family has grown quite attached to their herd, mainly because it is a family tradition to haul cows to livestock shows from New York to Tennessee.
For Nicholson, the bottom line is the satisfaction of doing for herself and taking pride in the results.
For nine years, she said, the farm has received the National Holstein Association's Progressive Breeder Registry Award for quality cows and milk production.