Josie Rozum: Working with family

By: Josie Rozum

I am extremely blessed to be able to work alongside my family every single day. They know how to take my overbearing, everything-must-be-planned demands. They also understand that they may need to pick up my slack when I have a sick baby boy at home who needs his momma. Although we’re together every day, we still celebrate holidays and birthdays and occasionally get together randomly for dinner just because. Growing up, working for my parents was rather easy. But nearly two years ago, after having my first child, coming home to work with my parents and brothers was a whole different story.

If I’m being completely honest, there were times early on when things were bad. When you work with family you’re either too honest because, well, they are your family, or not nearly as honest as you should be because… they are your family.  We have disagreements, we have arguments, we have moments where we need to leave the room to catch our cool. It’s hard folks. Trying to learn to work well with the same people who you bickered with growing up is a challenge. Not to mention, my background was more corporate while their backgrounds were primarily farming for the last several decades  – the mindsets and expectations are a little different if you can imagine.

It wasn’t until we made our first vat of cheese at the creamery when something came over me and my whole perspective changed. The entire day of making cheese was stressful. Nothing seemed to go as smoothly as we had hoped, but when the day was done we had a vat full of 500 pounds of deliciously tasty, fresh, squeaky cheese curds. We did a flash sale for the curds, and within minutes we had people walking through the doors of the creamery. The flow of people coming in continued for the next 2 hours we were open to the public.

The few months before, we all had been working tirelessly to open the creamery. There was no time to celebrate all of our hard work and dedication. There was no time to celebrate anything. But after making that first vat of cheese and opening our doors to the community – it hit me. We are going to argue and bicker and disagree on things, but the moments where we stop to see our achievements are going to be the sweetest, most fulfilling times in our lives.

Dairy farming is already a ton of hard work. Adding the creamery onto that has been a huge challenge – but having to do it without my family would be impossible. I feel so lucky, so blessed, and so honored to work alongside my family. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • Posted by Josie Rozum
  • On June 25, 2018