Carla Wardin is a mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend from St. Johns, Mich., who owns a dairy farm with Kris, her loving husband. They bought the farm from her parents, which makes Wardin a sixth generation farm owner despite her having several different jobs: she operates the Evergreen Dairy farm, writes for her personal Truth or Dairy blog, supervises Essex Township by serving on the board, speaks at various conferences and handles sponsor-relations for the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture. This year, Wardin is also a spokesperson and writer for U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.
Wardin received a full ride to Western Michigan University, graduating in English literature. She moved on to attend graduate school at Michigan State University; pursuing a master’s degree for the same field. After graduation, Wardin and her husband worked at various corporate jobs.
For her first corporate job, Wardin worked at Techsmith, out of Okemos, as a writer. Once she felt like trying something new, she moved to Illinois to work for Caterpillar. After moving around the U.S. and travelling the world, which is her favorite hobby, she settled down in St. Johns once again to purchase her family’s farm. Around the same time the Wardin wanted to quit their corporate work, her parents were thinking about selling the dairy farm’s cattle.
“Kris and I really loved our corporate jobs, but we wanted to own our own business,”said Wardin. “Since Kris is also from a dairy farm, it was at least a business we knew something about!”
Previously, Wardin was chosen to be the face of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, the same organization she is now a spokesperson for. She writes on her blog several times a month to talk about all things family and dairy, and she takes pride in her farm and its resulting products. Wardin is also an avid runner and is part of Team Chocolate Milk: a team of runners who promote and support chocolate milk as their recovery drink.
“We all wear Team Chocolate Milk gear in races. It’s so great to hear people yell, ‘I love chocolate milk!’ as you race!” Wardin said.
When Wardin is not working, she’s busy being a parent to her three children: Ty and Cole, 10-year-old twins, and 7-year-old Max. Her sister lives in Kansas and brother lives in Oklahoma, so the distance factor makes whole family visits hard. In an effort to spend time with family, they all take part in family Olympic games each year. The games get heated when each family member wants a turn with the Milk Jug trophy. Wardin says her twin boys are determined to win the family games, but they have many years to practice and steal the show one day.
Determined to be the best role model possible for her three boys, owning a family business does not allow Wardin to split work and personal life too much. However, her kids get to see their parents challenging work every day, which teaches their children how to treat people, animals and the land. “They love being on the farm, and everything on the farm, but they will likely be like their dad and grandpa and go into engineering,” Wardin said.
For more on Carla Wardin, her exciting life and lovely family, visit her blog at truthordairy.blogspot.com.