Omro — Knigge Farms is no stranger to visitors.
The farm routinely welcomes school and church groups as well as travelers from across the country and around the world to tour the family dairy business. Part of the allure is the fact that Knigge Farms became the first U.S. dairy to install and milk cows with robotic milkers 16 years ago.
However, this past fall, they opened up their doors to an entirely different type of audience. The popular reality television show “The Bachelor” selected Knigge Farms as the location for taping an episode of the show. “The Bachelor” began its 21st season on January 2. Knigge Farms will be featured as part of a “group date” on the fourth episode, which is scheduled to air January 23.
During the taping, the cast of bachelorettes milked a cow, fed calves, cleaned a barn, and in the final activity of the day, chased a wheel of LaClare Farms cheese (www.laclarefarm.com) down a hill in a competition. The cast ended their day at the Paine Art Center in Oshkosh, WI, for a rose ceremony where contestants are eliminated or remain to compete the following week by receiving a rose from the bachelor.
“A show like ‘The Bachelor’ is a huge production,” said Pete Knigge, co-owner of Knigge Farms LLC. “We didn’t know what we were getting into. Fortunately, as the audio and video crew set up in our barn, the technology of the robotic milkers allowed the cows to be milked while the filming was taking place and we hosted the cast and crew,” said the lifelong dairyman. “The whole family pitched in and we told our farm story.”
“It was a fun day!” added Pete’s son, Charlie Knigge, also a co-owner of Knigge Farms LLC. “Our farm was able to show the cast and the entire crew what modern dairy farming looks like. I’m excited for a national television audience to see it as well.”
The crew showed up around 10 a.m. on October 7 and stayed until the sun was setting around 6:30 p.m. that evening.
“It was a bit of a circus around here that day; however, the opportunity sounded too good to pass up. Too few people today have a strong connection to where their food comes from,” says Charlie. “We want to clear up some of the mystery around modern dairy and crop farming.”
Knigge Farms is a dairy and crop farm with 600 acres of alfalfa, corn, soybeans, oats, and wheat; 130 milking cows; and 170 heifers, calves, and steers operating in Omro, WI.
Pete, Theo, and Charlie Knigge own and operate the business which started in 1973. Knigge Farms was the first United States farm to install robotic milking technology in the year 2000. Additional robotic technology in use at the farm includes robotic calf feeders, feed pushing, and cow comfort brushes.