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Growing Outside the Box

4th generation dairy farmer finds support for growth and innovation in Farm Credit Mid-America

// Cooperative Stories, Customer Stories

Life on Emily Mullen’s family dairy farm is “definitely in my blood and embedded in my bones.” As a high school freshmen, Emily realized she wanted to take over the operation and implement new practices that would empower her to share their story with the community. After graduating from The Ohio State University with a degree in dairy science, Emily returned to her roots to “bear the torch and carry on” in her father’s footsteps.

At just 24-years-old, Emily is a fourth-generation farmer and the current owner of Mullen Dairy and Creamery in Okeana, Ohio. Emily is grateful for the great relationship she has with Farm Credit Mid-America.

“Farm Credit was so essential and really held my hand through the whole process, keeping me informed every step of the way,” she says. “You definitely don’t farm for the money, which means we are watching our nickels and dimes closely. When you are able to work with an agency like Farm Credit, you know you are working with someone who truly understands your day-to-day lifestyle.”

“They are there to help advise you and make a plan to not only make your family’s farm grow, but maintain it and do so in a safe manner.”

Like many other young producers, Emily also benefits from being part of Farm Credit Mid-America’s Growing Forward program. “Growing Forward is super important, and it’s so wonderful that Farm Credit is willing to help younger producers.”

“Whether we like it or not, the average age of a producer in the United States is about 60 years old,” she says. “The fact they are willing to take a step of faith with a young producer who is also probably scared out of their mind gives us confidence in ourselves.” 


Farm Credit Mid-America territory includes Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee. Arkansas includes Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Desha (northeast of the White River), Greene, Lee, Mississippi, Phillips, Poinsett, and St. Francis counties. Missouri includes Carter, Ripley and Wayne counties. Kentucky excludes Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken counties. Ohio excludes Crawford, Hancock, Lucas, Marion, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot counties. We serve all counties in Indiana and Tennessee. 

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