When Green Bay Packers player Jaire Alexander traded in his Louisville Cardinals football jersey for a Green Bay Packers uniform, he did not expect to also be handed a pair of milking gloves and work boots.
Filming a segment of Hang Time, a popular ESPN series, host and ESPN reporter Sam Alipour asked how the rookie cornerback wanted to spend his last day before beginning NFL training camp.
“I think I want to enjoy my time on a dairy farm today,” Alexander said. “I just kind of want to get to know these people and get to see a different way of living. I’m from the city, so being out here is a whole new experience for me and I think it’s pretty cool.”
Visiting Diederich Farm LLC, located in De Pere, Wis., six miles from Lambeau Field, Alexander and Alipour assisted the farm’s owner, Dan Diederich by milking a fresh Jersey “the old-fashioned way.”
Milking the cow by hand, the pair had some difficulties in the beginning, but soon caught on when Diederich showed them the proper technique. After getting some hands-on experience, Diederich later explained how the farm utilizes eight robotic units to milk the 480-cow herd today.
After learning about the robots, Diedrich gave the football duo a full tour of the farm, which also included cleaning calf hutches and a tractor race. While many politicians have visited Diedrich’s operation, Alexander has been the first Packers player on the dairy, sharing his visit on their Facebook page.
“He seemed like he was honest to goodness interested in what we did and how we did it,” Diedrich told The Country Today. “He could have done it as a publicity stunt and come for just a few minutes, but he was really getting into it and stayed for three hours.”
Growing up in Charlotte, N.C., Alexander had no prior farming experience, but working as a dairy farmer for a day left a lasting impression.
“Their work has not gone unnoticed by me,” Alexander said. “That’s pretty challenging work out there on the farm — being on the farm and having to manage it and manage all the animals. Hats off to them, because I know they work countless hours. I definitely want to applaud them.”
Though the rookie will likely spend more hours on the football field than the farm, Alexander was not opposed to returning to the dairy to stay in shape.
“If I’m in the offseason and need a workout, I’m going to go back to the farm,” Alexander said.
To see Alexander’s day on the farm, watch the video below.