When I think of Wisconsin, like most, I think of dairy; dairy products, dairy farms, black and white cow…you get the point. Yes, I know that California produces more pounds of milk, but Wisconsin is where my head goes. And I don’t know about you, but I love dairy products especially when those dairy products are ice cream or culver’s cheese curds…who’s with me?
Growing up, my mom put cheese on everything and if it wasn’t cheese, it was sour cream, cream cheese or cottage cheese. And who can forget about butter. My mom has a saying in the kitchen, “Butter makes everything better.” She isn’t wrong. Growing up in Colorado, we didn’t get some of those more specialty type dairy products. I can still remember the first time I had a fresh cheese curd. I couldn’t get over how loud it squeaked!
In order to have all the cookies’n’cream ice cream, whole milk and cottage cheese I consume, my appetite (maybe not my stomach) needs dairy farmers. Dairy farmers feed you and give you some of the major nutrients you need.
As I have learned more about the dairy industry, I have come to the conclusion that if you are a dairy farmer you are either; a) a morning person, b) crazy, c) passionate about the industry, or d) all of the above. Well this soon to be family of three, qualifies as all of the above. Peter and Leanne Kimball have a huge passion for the industry and do whatever it takes to keep their dairy farm running strong. Residing in Baldwin, Wisc., this couple merged their passion in 2017.
Leanne grew up on a dairy farm that was started by her grandparents. Her grandparents both worked off the farm jobs while milking the 40 cows. Leanne’s dad eventually took over the family farm milking the cows and farming full time. Growing up, she worked on the family dairy farm alongside her father, grandparents, and three brothers. After college, Leanne got a job for Central Star Cooperative as a Dairy Herd Information Specialist. She currently has 25 to 30 dairy farms on her route where she collects milk samples from the cows being milked. She plans to keep her job with Central Star after the baby is born but plans to go down to part time so she can spend more time with the baby.
Peter didn’t grow up on a dairy farm. His family raised pigs and sheep growing up. Although, he worked on many dairies during high school and college. He fell in love and decided to make the leap and buy into a herd of his own. In 2007 he rented a farm and milked out 40 cows. In 2013, he bought a farm where he and Leanne currently live today. They milk about 120, mainly Jersey, cows. The milk from their cows goes to Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery where it is turned into delicious cheese curds sold across America. Along with the cows, the Kimball’s also farm crop ground that they use to feed their cows.
Leanne may not have wanted to take over her family’s farm and Peter didn’t have a farm to take over. Nonetheless, this couple loves what they do.
They love the dairy industry and the different parts that they play in it. Through the tough times and the good, they always seem to have a smile on their face.
The Kimball’s truly represent the spirit of what being a farmer and rancher means to so many across the agriculture industry.
‘til next time,