The future of the Wisconsin dairy industry is strong because of farms like Royal-Mist Holsteins in Loyal. Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel announced last week that Royal-Mist Holsteins is one of the 44 recipients of the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 grants.
Secretary Brancel announced the grant recipients at a news conference hosted by Kristan Opelt, and her husband Trent of Royal-Mist Holsteins. Kristan and Trent received a Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 grant to assist with the transition of the 65-milking cow dairy farm from her parents, Jerry and Sandy Noeldner. The grant funds will assist with re-surveying, appraising and completing legal work to transfer the farm buildings, pasture and a building site for a new barn to the beginning farmers as part of an overall farm transition plan.
"The Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 grants allow these farmers to take steps to improve farm profitability, plan for future investments and make the transfer to the next generation," said Brancel. "By ensuring the long-term production of our state's dairy farms, Wisconsin will continue to be America's Dairyland and provide the fresh, quality milk our dairy processors are demanding."
Grant applications were accepted in March and reviewed by an internal and external review process. Farmers could be awarded a grant up to $5,000. At least 20% in matching funds needed to be provided by the applicant.
A total of $199,472 in grant funds will be distributed. The grant recipients include:
•The Barta Farm LLC - Two Rivers
• Benitz Farms LLC - Maiden Rock
• Badger Pride Dairy LLC - Valders
• Cycle Farm - Sturgeon Bay
• Bures Family Organic Farm - Deerbrook
• Andrew Buttles - Lancaster
• United Dreams Dairy, LLC - North Freedom
• Fiedler Organic Dairy Farm – Watertown
• Fitz-Pine Dairy Farm, Inc – Newton
• Vision Aire Farms – Eldorado
• Jan Gray – Menomonie
• J-Lyn Farms Inc – Spring Green
• David Hafemeister – Hustisford
• Trim-Bel Valley Dairy – Beldenville
• Kieler Farm Inc – Platteville
• Junction View Dairy, LLC – Richland Center
• Saxony Homestead Farm, LLC – Cleveland
• JC-Kow Farms, LLC – Whitewater
• Maier Farms, L.L.C. – Waunakee
• MM Dairy – Fredonia
• MLEKO Farms LLC – Montfort
• Cedar Lawn Farm LLC – West Bend
• Royal-Mist Holsteins – Loyal
• Mark Otto Farm – Reedsville
• Chad Pearson – Medford
• Thomas Rahmlow – Mishicot
• Lakeshore Farms LLC – Belgium
• Farminz Fun Dairy – Newtown
• Schueller Farms – Belgium
• Daniel Schultz – Taylor
• Blue Royal Dairy LLC. – Reedsville
• Taylor Acres Dairy – Lancaster
• William Thull Farms – Kewaskum
• Van De Hei Dairy LLC – DePere
• Hardscrabble Farms, LLC – Montfort
• Proud Heritage Jerseys – Maribel
• Vossekuil Mile Holsteins – Brandon
• Wenger Farms – Brodhead
• Kinnamon Ridge Dairy LLC – Reedsburg
• Wichman Farms Inc – Appleton
• Woldt Farms LLC – Brillion
• Sunset Farms, Inc. – Allenton
• Kevin Fritz – Oshkosh
• Mixie Babes Dairy – New Glarus
Seven recipients will focus on increasing profitability by improving milk quality, evaluating herd health protocols, making business plans or improving employee relations. Eight grants will be used to assist with farm transfers such as Royal-Mist Holsteins. The remaining grants will be used to plan and prepare for future investments. An example of these projects include: pasture irrigation, updated heifer facilities and manure storage.
The Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Initiative was formed after discussions of state dairy leaders. In March 2012, Governor Scott Walker announced the Initiative's goal to improve the long-term viability of Wisconsin's dairy industry by achieving an annual milk production of 30 billion pounds by 2020 to meet the growing demand of the marketplace and assisting Wisconsin dairy farmers to increase profitability.
Learn more about the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Initiative and available services at GrowWisconsinDairy.wi.gov. Contact the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Team toll-free at 855-WI DAIRY or 855-943-2479. Dairy farmers can also email the Team at GrowWisconsinDairy@wi.gov.