Wallace family hosting Kewaunee's farm breakfast
FORESTVILLE – Persistence and performance are hallmarks of the Wallace family, which is in its fourth generation of dairy farm ownership and which will be hosting Kewaunee County's 35th annual dairy breakfast on the farm at N9388 County Road P, the morning of Sunday, June 11.
A transition within the family in 2013 was the formation of Wallace Dairy Farm LLC to include Paul Wallace Jr. and his wife Corrine as his parents Paul Sr. and Cathy began a move toward retirement.
This year the younger Wallaces were completing a move to the house on the farm while the senior Wallaces move to a new nearby residence. That put an end to a nearly 10-mile daily one way trip to the farm from Algoma for the younger Wallaces.
The Wallace family traces its history to a homestead started in 1856 near Darboy in northern Calumet County. Paul Wallace Sr., the third of nine children, purchased a farm just south of Forest Junction, also in northern Calumet County, before moving to far northern Kewaunee County in 1978.
At that time, Paul Jr. was 5 years old. But it didn't take him long to delve into the dairy business. When he was 14, he purchased a registered Holstein for $1,200 – one which has two descendants in the milking herd of 100 head today – about 70 percent of which are registered.
Along the way in his goal to improve the genetics and production in the dairy herd, Paul Jr. completed the dairy herd management course at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland in neighboring Manitowoc County.
The results are shown in the herd's recent averages of 25,000 pounds of milk per lactation, 3.9 percent butterfat, 3.2 percent protein, and a somatic cell count of 150,000. The milk is sold to Arla Foods at Hollandtown for making cheese.
As he transitioned into the family's farm, Paul Jr. specialized in working with the cattle while his father focused on crop production. Corn, alfalfa, and barley are the major crops grown on 315 acres today.
Dairy farm team
In addition to Paul Jr.'s wife Corrine, who is also a special education aide for the Algoma school district, and high school age children, son Aidan and daughter Emersyn, the Wallaces depend on the help of one full-time and five part-time employees to operate the farm - Connor Buhr, Max Schoening, Jordan Schiesser, Casey Stangel, Matthew Bluett, and Casey Nelson. For a number of years, Paul Jr.'s sister Kim also helped on the farm.
Professional services are provided by veterinarians Bill Kaufmann of the Dairyland Clinic and Jeff McFarlane of the Advanced Service, hoof trimmer Dave Mleziva, and nutritionist Stephanie Nagel of CP Feeds. Feeds are obtained from Frank's mill at Casco, Cornette Farm Supply at Greenleaf, and the Rio Creek feed mill.
The thousands of visitors expected at the June 11 breakfast can start the day by attending a non-denominational religious service at 7 a.m. and then enjoying a breakfast laden with dairy products with a choice of taking part in activities geared to people of all ages.
The breakfast, which costs $6 for those older than 12, and $3 for ages 4 to 12, is sponsored by the Kewaunee County dairy promotion board.