Hay Expo Hosts Offer Diversified Operation

Trinity Farms near Hixton, Wis., makes more than hay.

Published on: Apr 8, 2009

The 2009 Farm Progress Hay Expo will be staged June 10 and 11 at Trinity Farms near Hixton, Wis. This western Wisconsin farming operation is a large diversified business that includes not only hay, forages and row crops, but also dairy cattle, hogs and custom farming and trucking.

Trinity Farms was created two years ago as a joint partnership between Aaron Kidd, Travis Armitage and Lynn Sedelbauer, who are the hosts for this year’s Hay Expo. The partners grow corn, soybeans, alfalfa and small grains on their farm; manage a 2,400-head custom dairy heifer operation; and operate a custom planting, chopping and baling business and grain trucking company. By pooling their resources through the joint venture, the three partners are able to explore new opportunities that otherwise would have been unattainable.

For example, Sedelbauer milked 125 cows for 20 years and was in a partnership with his father and brother Gary. In 2000 Gary decided to exit the partnership. When Gary left, Lynn took a hard look at the entire operation and decided it was an opportunity to make some changes. He worked out an arrangement with a young couple to buy the milk cow herd and expanded the dairy heifer herd.

Four years ago his son Chad was interested in raising hogs so they erected some hog buildings and now Gary manages a hog operation that feeds out around 3,400 head per year.

Aaron was running Lynn’s custom operations and Travis was working for Aaron. Lynn offered them the opportunity to join a partnership and Trinity Farms was born. That gave Lynn the opportunity to phase out of much of the day-to-day management and concentrate on a new venture. Last year he took ownership of 3,000 acres in Saskatchewan and now raises small grains on that land during the growing season.

Even though each of the three partners have responsibility for management of different parts of the operation, Travis and Aaron now have the opportunity for more input into management and growth of all the enterprises.

“It’s working out well for all of us,” notes Lynn. “I wanted to phase out of the enterprises here and try something else. I’m able to do that now and provide an opportunity for Aaron and Travis to grow.”

About 500 acres of Trinity Farms land will be used for Hay Expo field demonstrations and exhibitor tune-up. Visitors to the Expo will have an opportunity to compare all types of mowing, conditioning, baling, hay handling and silage harvesting/storing equipment operating side-by-side under actual field conditions.

A 10-acre exhibit field will highlight displays from the major and shortline specialty manufacturers; seed, building and storage facility suppliers; and a range of related product vendors. Exhibitors plan to showcase a host of new items designed to boost the efficiency and profitability of hay and forage production.

Visitors will also be able to talk with exhibitors about seed, hay marketing, crop production, conservation and more. There will be educational exhibits as by groups such as Extension, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of Wisconsin, hay and forage groups, and others.

Check this site often for updates on what to see and do at the 2009 Farm Progress Hay Expo.