From the original 100 acres located on the north edge of Fort Atkinson, the farm has grown to more than 1,000 acres of owned and rented cropland. Last year, we planted 894 acres of corn for silage and grain, 210 acres of soybeans, 158 acres of alfalfa, 39 acres of wheat, and smaller acreages of oats, peas, and triticale. Custom operators are hired to take care of our planting and harvesting.
Our herd includes 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 also converted our original tie stall barn into a mechanically ventilated freestall barn with sand bedded stalls in 2010. This is where many of our Jerseys are housed. 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. After weaning, they are moved to another farm and raised, returning to the main farm a few weeks before calving for the first time.
The herd averages 69 pounds of milk per day on three times per day milking. Our milk averages about 3.5 percent protein and 4.5 milkfat. We ship the milk to Torkelson’s Cheese Company in Lena, Ill., where it is made into Muenster and other cheeses. We are members of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative.
In 2016, the Hoard’s Dairyman Guernseys ranked second in the nation for protein production, second for milk production, and fourth for fat production, as acknowledged by the American Guernsey Association. Meanwhile, the American Jersey Cattle Association shared that the Hoard’s Jerseys ranked sixth in the nation in protein production and eighth for fat production among herds with 150 to 299 records.
Each year, many visitors stop by to see the iconic Hoard’s Dairyman Farm. No self-guided tours are available, but we are happy to offer guided tours that are prescheduled. For more information about a farm tour, please call (920) 563-5551 or visit our farm tours webpage.
The Hoard’s Dairyman Farm was originally purchased in 1899 by our founder, W.D. Hoard, and has served as a key component of the magazine, which was first published in 1885. One main purpose for operating 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 outlets. As far as we know, we are the only agricultural publication in the world that is fully engaged in the business it covers.