Rescued Dairy Farm

A photo story from the Fences: Faces of Migration Photojournalism Workshop

An early morning sunrise in Barryton, Mich. begins to shine on the growing Vera dairy farm.

While traveling from Mexico to Michigan, Adolfo Vera had his mind set on his own American dream. Vera left Mexico mainly for work, but also because he truly does not like the quality of life in his home country. According to Vera, when police pull people over in Mexico, they talk the driver into paying them to avoid getting in trouble with the law. Most of his family stayed behind in Mexico, taking care of their own farm, selling some cows for beef as well as milking others.

However, Adolfo moved on to Michigan and later decided to visit family in California. He met his future wife Ana through a family friend of theirs, and it was love at first sight. She came back to Michigan with him and shortly after they got married, they started a family.

Adolfo and Ava have four children - Adolfo Jr., 7, Nathalia, 6, Florencia, 3, and Gerardo, 6 months. They decided to try life in Ohio for a bit, with Adolfo still working on dairy farms, and in the end decided Michigan is where they wanted to raise their family.

Adolfo got tired of working under people and had issues with his bosses, so as a couple they decided they wanted to start a dairy farm of their own in Barryton, Michigan.

Currently, they are renovating a dairy farm that has been out of commission since 2009. They have been working on this farm since August 2015 and already have high hopes of bringing in cows by December 2015.

There are endless amounts of work to do, but Adolfo and Ana are more than prepared to take on this challenge.

In addition to working on the farm, Ana works part time as a school bus driver, and Adolfo is on call for multiple dairy farms around the area to help out for extra money.

Not only do they want this farm to be a success for financial reasons, but also to have some solidity for their children's futures here in America.

Photos and Story By Kaytie Boomer