Keeping the family dairy farm alive and growing is important to the two families running the dairy operation near the Branch River on Hershau Road in Reedsville. The view is great, the animals are healthy, and now the dairy team of Otto and Herrmann have some extra help with financing and planning the future plans to transition the operation, thanks to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced recently that a grant was available through the new Dairy 30×20 Initiative. The team applied for the Planning and Preparation Team money for up to $5,000. The team of Mark Otto and Mark Herrmann found out about the grant monies from Cari Sabel, Manager with the Manitowoc Farm Service Agency and Scott Gunderson, Dairy Agent with the Manitowoc County UW Extension. The suggestion to apply was greatly appreciated and today, the team received the good news.

Mark Otto received the call today notifying him that their team received the $5,000 they had applied for. The Otto/Herrmann team plans to use the money for planning and preparation to grow the operation as well as transition and transfer the farm to the next generation. Mark Herrmann and his family have been farming on Hershau Road for two generations and over the next few years Mark Herrmann and his wife Diane will reduce some of their responsibilities as Mark Otto and his family get more involved. Eventually the entire operation will be owned and operated by Mark Otto. This has been a labor of love for both parties. Family farms aren't as common as they once were and the transition program helps keep the dream of a family farm alive. Mark Otto is getting married later this year and is looking forward to growing his family right alongside the farming operation. Both Otto and Herrmann will tell you that farming is hard work, but it's a good life. They are grateful for the Grow Wisconsin Dairy Producer Grant made possible by ATCP 161.60 emergency rule as part of the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Initiative. They are also grateful to the guidance and support they have received from the Manitowoc Farm Service Agency, the UW Extension, Lakeshore Technical College, and Lakeshore Farm Management.