Struggles Make You Stronger
Struggles make you stronger, and family gets you through the struggles. That is the story of White Heart Award winner Troy Wallin and his family.
Farming outside of Enumclaw, Washington, like many other dairy families, past years have not been easy. Yet, as the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. It is Troy’s unwavering work ethic that propelled wife Kathy to nominate her husband on a whim.
Not knowing much about the White Heart Award and not really thinking it would go anywhere, Kathy explains that Troy captures the exact heart of what propels the dairy industry forward. Kathy spoke of a man who works sun up to sun down, not because of a promised financial gain, but a deep love of dairy farming that’s been passed from generations of Wallins before him. She notes the sacrifices today’s dairy farmers make—missing out on family events, and having to look at other income streams to buffer the hard days. Still, even within the tough times, Troy pulls off the 24/7 without a complaint and with two sons following in dad’s footsteps—the ultimate testament of a dairy farmer’s success.
Jackson Parriera, Cargill Dairy Focus Consultant, has had the pleasure of working with Troy for the past number of years and touches on the significance of the White Heart Award for his customers, “I can bring donuts on farm visits, and take the Wallins to lunch, but their hasn’t been a way of truly patting a dairyman on the back quite like this. Production, numbers and financials aside, this industry is tough, and our farmers need to know their countless hours matter.”
For Troy, the pressure of the milk market doesn’t fade when he leaves the barn. The local community has seen five dairy farms exit the industry this past year alone. So, when Troy’s White Heart Award-win made its way to Facebook, friends and family from near and far jumped at the opportunity to congratulate his success story.
One supporter commented, “Congratulations! Farmers are some of the hardest working people out there—so thankful you all got the recognition you deserve!”
At the end of the day, it’s not the fancy award for Troy, but the memory of the moment his family gathered at the farm to surprise him with what his years of work has meant to them. It brought a tear to his eye, and it will remind him on those tough days that farming and family go hand in hand, and to never lose sight of that healthy desire to always be better than the day before.