Washington dairy producer proudly builds upon his family’s century-long commitment to raising Holsteins

For over a century, Skyhart Farms in Washington State has not only witnessed breathtaking views but has also woven a narrative of dedication, hard work, and a profound love for U.S. Registered Holsteins.

Rich Hartzell’s journey began at the tender age of nine when a fascination for a Holstein calf sparked his love of farming. From those humble beginnings, his passion for the trade bloomed, intertwining with his family’s rich history in agriculture.

Hartzell’s legacy traces its roots back to a great-grandfather, who, after arriving in the Pacific Northwest as an immigrant from Germany, sought out the beauty of black and white Holsteins that were reminiscent of his homeland. In the early 1900s, he established the farm, marking the first chapter of a story that would span generations over the next century and beyond.

Through the years, each generation of the Hartzell Family sought to improve upon the foundation of the last. The transcript unfolds, revealing the remarkable journey that shaped SkyHeart Farms. The narrative comes alive from the young farmer who started milking cows at 12 to a partner’s pivotal role and the dedicated neighbor who became a vital part of the team.

With her family’s deep connection to the farm, Eileen quickly became a cornerstone of the enterprise, establishing her partnership with the Hartzell Family four years ago and elevating Sky-Heart Farms to new heights. Together, they continue a tradition prioritizing hard work, animal care, and a commitment to excellence.

“They prioritize their animals, which is something I admire so much,” said Maggie Bright, a neighbor and relief milker, attesting to the Hartzells’ work ethic. The lessons learned from the family extend beyond the pastures, shaping character and work ethic, and instilling values that transcend generations.

“I love doing it; I love being here every day,” Rih said, summing up the sentiment that resonates through the Hartzell family and SkyHeart Farms.


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