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Changes enhance tradition at Calumet County's 'Sundae on a Dairy Farm'

June 16, 2014 | 0 comments


When the Calumet County dairy promotion committee holds its 29th annual "Sundae on a Dairy Farm" on Sunday, June 29, the attendees will notice a number of changes at the event.

Those will start with the 10 a.m. celebration of a Catholic Mass that is being sponsored by the host Schmidt families, who operate the Grand View Dairy Farm, Inc. in the far north central part of the county. The Mass, which will be the first religious service conducted in conjunction with the annual June Dairy Month observance in the county, will be celebrated by Father Timothy Brandt, who is the pastor of Holy Family parish in Brillion, where the Schmidts are church members.

The event hosts are Bruce and Colleen Schmidt and their sons Kyle, 19, and Matthew, 17, and Corey and Kathy Schmidt and their sons Derek, 15, Tyler, 13, and Logan, 7. They are the third and fourth generations on the dairy farm that has been in the family since 1917. All but one of the Schmidts' five sons intend to continue to be affiliated with the farm once they reach adulthood.

Grand View Dairy features a full set of new facilities, including a double 20 parallel milking parlor, which was constructed in 2012 for a herd of 1,200 Holstein cows (with a few Jersey crosses), along with 980 dairy heifers. With the help of 20 employees in addition to the family members, the Schmidts harvest corn, alfalfa, soybeans and winter wheat from a total of 2,300 acres that they own or from which they buy the crops from neighboring landowners.

The freestall dairy barn for the milking herd has a uniquely designed air movement system that accomplishes a full air exchange in the building in only 52 seconds. This differs from other air circulation systems in that it emphasizes the volume of air movement rather than the speed of air flow, Corey said.

Pedometers (ankle bracelets) on the cows help the Schmidts to monitor for any health problems and to help detect when cows are in estrus for artificial insemination.

In addition to being able to show their new facilities and cow management practices to the public, the Schmidts are hosting the event because they want to counter the mindset that "a large farm is a bad farm."

Information tables will be staffed by a veterinarian, dairy nutritionist and agronomist. A 32-inch screen in a utility room will show the milking parlor in operation. A photo display of the farm history will also be presented.

The dairy promotion committee will also be unveiling its new banner, tepee information boards and fact sheets that were created with reserve funds from Calumet County's hosting of the selection on the 66th Alice in Dairyland (Kristin Olson) in May of 2013.

Event expectations

The official hours for the "Sundae on a Dairy Farm" are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In anticipation of a crowd of up to 3,000 or more, the promotion committee increased its order of cartons of milk (mostly chocolate) from Lamers Dairy and its supply of Cedar Crest ice cream.

Attendees will continue to enjoy the milk and cheese samples from Arla Foods, to which Grand View Dairy sells its milk, and from Sartori Foods and BelGioioso Cheese at no cost. Bottles of water will also be available at no cost. For purchasing bratwurst, hamburger and cheese sandwiches along with the ice cream sundaes, there will be a new ticket system for which the prices will be $2.50 and $1.

When the purchasers of grilled cheese sandwiches begin to consume them, they will notice another change. Instead of the customary cheddar, the sandwiches will have havarti cheese, while orders for cheeseburgers will have a slice of gouda cheese. Uncle Bobby the Clown will be distributing string cheese packets and containers of Goyurt from his shopping cart. Butter churning will continue its long-time tradition at the event.

Activity agenda

Numerous other activities and attractions are rolled into the "Sundae" event. For children, they include a pedal tractor pull, a sand pile for play (a new attraction), a petting zoo, Bouncy House and games and face painting led by local 4-H clubs. Shamrock the Clown will also provide entertainment for children. Tractor-drawn wagon rides will also be given around the new facilities at Grand View Dairy.

Returning to the event for the second year is Addie the Cow, which is provided by the Sheboygan County dairy promotion committee. Addie is a life-sized fiberglass "mooing" Ayrshire that children can milk. Another fiberglass attraction is the model of the four-chamber cow stomach that is shared by the Outagamie County Extension Service office.

Information booths will be set up by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, the Farm Bureau's Ag in the Classroom program, the Salvation Army and the county's Extension Service office, public health department, resource management department, Fair Association and the aquatic invasive species education program. There will be equipment displays by the Hollandtown volunteer fire department and the town of Harrison fire and rescue first responders unit.

People plus

Wisconsin's 67th Alice in Dairyland Zoey Brooks, who took on the promotional role June 2, will be a special guest. Other greeters of the anticipated thousands of visitors will be the county's Fairest of the Fair Erica Lamers, the junior Fairest Hannah Roehrig and the Farm Bureau princess Maria Lisowe.

Bill Jartz, a television station news anchor in Green Bay, will be the master of ceremonies for the day. He will introduce the host families at noon.

There will be musical entertainment by the local CaHoots band, which will also provide the music for the Mass that begins the day's activities. Band members are Mary Kay Jannette, Dennis Vondrachek and Carl and Donna Hanson.

Grand View Dairy is to the west of Highway 32/57 at N9339 Brant-St. John Road in Brillion.

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