From the original 100 acres located on the north edge of Fort Atkinson, the farm has grown to have nearly 400 acres of cropland owned with another 480 rented. On a typical year, we have about 450 acres of corn, 350 acres of alfalfa and 50 acres of wheat. Custom farming operators take care of our cropping.
Our herd now contains both Guernseys and Jerseys. We house most of our milking herd in a two-row, naturally ventilated freestall barn that was built in 2007. We house many of our Jersey cows in our old comfort-stall barn that was converted to freestalls in 2010. We milk all of our cows in a double-10, herringbone parlor built in 2007.
Soon after birth, we take our heifer calves to a grower near Elkhorn, Wis., about 25 miles away from the farm. The heifers stay there until they are close to calving for the first time.
Our milk averages about 3.7 percent protein and 4.8 milkfat. We ship the milk to Torkelson’s Cheese Company at Lena, Ill., where it is made into Muenster and other cheeses. We are members of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative.
Originally purchased in 1899 by our founder W.D. Hoard, the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm has served as a key component of the magazine, which was first published in 1885. The primary reason for having the farm is to keep all employees of the magazine, especially the editors, keenly aware of the on-farm aspects of the industry we cover in our 20 issues a year and through our other media services. We, perhaps, are the only agricultural publication in the world that is fully engaged in the business it covers.