Dept. of Agriculture, Entrepreneurship, Grants and Funding

Aurelio Perez: From Farm Worker to Farm Owner

From, USDA Farm Service Agency, Jessica Davis, Idaho FSA Farm Loan Officer, 21 Nov 2011.

Aurelio Perez came to Jerome, Idaho, in 1992 with a plan to work on a local dairy farm for one year. That year became a life-changing experience for Aurello.

He decided to stay and continue working at the dairy and In 1993 he met his soon-to-be wife, Rocio, who was a student working part time milking cows on another Idaho dairy farm. The two began dating and married four years later.

Aurelio continued to work as the herdsman and in exchange for some of his wages he was compensated with cows. After 17 years, Aurelio had acquired 80 cows free and clear. It was then that the Perez family made the decision to venture out on their own and start a small dairy.

But they needed help. So they came to USDA’s Farm Service Agency for financial assistance. The agency provided financing for their operating needs with a low interest rate.

“With FSA’s help, we were able to purchased an additional 30 cows and rent a dairy,” said Aurelio. Today, they have 165 cows.

In 2008, in order to bring in a little extra money and help with living expenses, Rocio started a manure hauling business. It started with only one truck but the business picked up so quickly that the Perez’s decided to purchase another truck and a loader to use for both the dairy and the hauling company.

Aurelio and Rocio agree that each of them works just as hard as the other to support their three boys, ages 12, six and five months.

While they are still in the process of growing and accomplishing their goals, they are surviving the roller-coaster ride created by the current economy of the dairy industry.

“We hope to eventually purchase a dairy of our own and increase our herd to a 400-cow operation,” said Aurelio. “We plan on doing whatever it takes to have all three of our children attend college.”

Source:, USDA Farm Service Agency, “Aurelio Perez: From Farm Worker to Farm Owner” by Jessica Davis, Idaho FSA Farm Loan Officer, 21 Nov 2011.


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