After quitting her job as the Chief Registrar in 2013, Gladys Boss Shollei has embraced a new passion: dairy farming. Located at Plateau in Uasin Gishu County, Gladys operates a farm with hundreds of pedigree cattle including Friesian, Holsteins, Guernsey, and Brown Swiss, which are highly prized for their high milk production and good fat content. When she’s not attending official engagements, Gladys spends most of her time tending to her cows and enjoys the relaxation and rewards that come with it.
One of the standout features of Gladys’ farm is her embrace of technology in farm operations. The cows are housed in well-constructed structures that prioritize their well-being and comfort, and the farm has installed a synchronized mobile application to monitor the feeding and milk production program of each cow. This app is particularly useful for Gladys as she is not always on the farm, given her plans to enter politics. To help manage the farm, Gladys has employed a team of trained farm professionals, including an animal health officer, Winnie Chebii.
The cows are grouped in cubicles, ranging from the youngest calf to the expectant cow, to monitor the lactation and feeding cycle. Gladys believes in providing tender care to the cows to boost milk production, and has a strict program in place, from a three-day-old calf calving to the next cycle. After one week, the calves are introduced to dairy meal and grass, and after 18 months of feeding, they are prepared for insemination through artificial means.
The bulls are then sold for beef in the market. Two months prior to delivery, the heifers are put under a critical steaming process to improve milk production.
Despite the challenges of farming, Gladys believes it is worth the effort. She finds the farm a great place to escape from the busyness of Nairobi, and a valuable experience for her children when they visit and interact with the workers. Gladys has come a long way from her younger days when she disliked animal rearing and promised herself to steer clear of it. Today, it is part of her family and business life.