300 Children visit town of Herman farm

Gloria Hafemeister
Dr. Sara of the Mayville Animal Clinic described how veterinarians routinely care for dairy animals on the Twardokus farm in the Township of Herman, keeping them healthy and monitoring their pregnancies so the cows will deliver healthy calves. Her presentation was a part of the Farm City Day sponsored by Dodge County Farm Bureau.

TOWN OF HERMAN - More than 300 school children braved cold rainy, and occasionally snowy weather on April 27 to learn more about agriculture on Twardokus Woodlawn Farm near Mayville.

Sponsored by the Dodge County Farm Bureau and assisted by members of the Beaver Dam FFA, volunteers explained about all aspects of agriculture, including dairy, beef, pigs, poultry, goats, bees and equipment.

The Twardokus family opened their barn and dairy facilities to the visitors, showing the students how they feed and milk their 60 cows and youngstock in various age groups.  They saw the milk house and learned how milk is cooled and stored until it is picked up and hauled to a cheese plant.  Before the conclusion of the tour the milk truck pulled into the yard and students saw that process first hand.

While the farm is primarily dairy, the students did get to meet the two pigs that Katie, Dale and Kathy Twardokus’ youngest daughter, will be exhibiting at the Dodge County Fair this summer. It will be the last year for Katie entering as a member of the Hartford FFA. In fall she will be attending Fox Valley Technical College for a certification in dairy herd management.

- Children visiting the Twardokus farm for Farm city Day had an opportunity to see the two pigs that Katie Twardokus is raising to enter at the Dodge County Fair this summer.  The students tried to pet the pigs but the young animals were hesitant about going out into the cold April air.

The family also includes Karoline, a student at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville majoring in animal science with an emphasis in dairy. She looks forward to graduation in May and will then work in the dairy industry.  Karoline was Dodge County’s Fairest of the Fair in 2016.

Kevin Twardokus attends Fox Valley Technical College studying for a certification in Farm Operations. He is also a member of the Iron Ridge Fire Department and First Responders.

Kathy and Dale Twardokus started farming in 1983 on a 120-acre farm with a 22 stall barn. In 1986 they expanded to a 60-stall barn and in 2009 they purchased additional land, bringing their farm to the current 230 owned acres and 90 rented acres.

They built a heifer barn in 2004 and a calf barn in 2012. In January, 2016 the original milking barn burned down. After nearly five months of having their surviving cows milked elsewhere, they returned to their new barn to continue milking again in May.

This is the second time the family has hosted Farm City Day. The first time was 20 years ago in 1997. The entire family has been active in agriculture and they are strong believers in the importance of agriculture to Wisconsin and of sharing the story of how farm families care for their livestock and their farms.

Besides learning about the various jobs involved on the farm, students attending Farm City Day also gained information about the value of agriculture to the state’s economy.  Another station highlighted how many things, besides dairy products, come from dairy animals including leather for baseball gloves and other items, makeup, medicines, and more.

The cows took the 300 visitors in stride on Thursday as school children, mostly fourth graders, learned more about agriculture at the annual Farm City Day on the Twardokus farm in the Town of Herman.

The Iron Ridge Fire Department and First Responders were on hand to talk about what they do and the importance of volunteers to keep these departments in service to local communities.