Day 19 of my “30 Days of MN Agriculture” is Janet Bremer from Hastings. Janet and her family are dairy farmers (and you know how much I love dairy!) Janet has an interesting story where she won a national photo contest by showing her family cheering for the MN Vikings game near the dairy cows. The picture is shown below and is very cute! Janet is also a fellow blogger so be sure to check her blog, My Barnyard View out.
Social Media Sites:
Twitter, Instagram- My Barnyard View
Tell me a little about your farm and/or business?
Three generations live and work on Bremer Farms. Along with my in-laws, John and I, and our children Sara and Michael make up the Bremer Farms work force. Sara, Michael, and I also have jobs off the farm. Our dairy farm is located just 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and directly across the road from a beautiful golf course!
How long have you farmed or been in business?
Bremer Farms began in 1952 when my father-in-law purchased the farm. Since John and I were both raised on dairy farms, I guess you could say we have been in the dairy business all our lives.
Tell me a little about what you grown/raise/produce or service provided.
We milk 130 Holstein cows, raise another 120 young stock and raise our bull calves for feeder cattle. We own 270 acres and rent additional cropland. We raise corn, oats, and alfalfa. We grow all the feed for our cattle, and when it’s a good year for growing crops, we sell the extra.
Where do you sell or provide services to? Who is your end consumer?
Our milk is sold to Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) who currently have a contract with Land O Lakes (Dean Foods). It is processed in Woodbury, MN where it is sold as fluid milk, or made into sour cream, cottage cheese or ice cream. You can find our milk in your grocery store within 48 hours of leaving our farm!
What is one interesting fact about your farm/crops/livestock/business you would like to share.
A couple years ago we entered and won a national photo contest showing/combining our love of dairy farming and our favorite NFL team. Our prize was a visit from former Minnesota Viking Toby Gerhardt. Toby, the nicest guy ever, spent the day helping on our farm, surrounded by radio, TV and print media. (I have included our winning photo).
What is one thing you wish consumers knew about what you do or your farm/business?
I would like consumers to know that we take great pride in what we do to produce safe, wholesome and nutritious dairy foods. Farming can be rewarding as well as a challenging occupation. As a family we have done a lot of hard work to make our farm successful. We are a proud farm family that cares for, and respects our animals and the land.
What is your favorite Minnesota location?
Other than our farm, my favorite place is the Minnesota State Fair. Being the Minnesota State Dairy Princess Coordinator, one of my responsibilities is chaperoning the 11 finalists and Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Minnesota’s goodwill ambassador, for the 12 days of the fair. Besides my enjoyment of everything related to the fair, I love that the State Fair gives non-ag related folks an opportunity to meet these dairy farm daughters and get their questions answered straight from someone who know what it’s like to be involved in the dairy business.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to encourage everyone to consult a farmer if you have a question. Social media can be a huge asset to tell our story, but unfortunately social media also tells another story that may not be true. Please, ask a farmer! If you have a question about your pet’s health, you would go to a veterinarian. If you have a question about your car, you would go to a mechanic. If you have a question about your food, why wouldn’t you go to a farmer?
This is the most popular recipe on my blog. I often use this recipe for holiday gathering because I can make it ahead and freeze it. And it’s loaded with dairy goodness!
Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
- 5 pounds potatoes
- 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese softened
- 3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Peel potatoes and cut into chunks. Put potatoes in pot and fill with cold water. Cook 25 minutes until fork tender. Drain potatoes and keep them in hot pot. Add all other ingredients. Mash all together. Place in freezer containers to freeze. Thaw in refrigerator for 2 days. Spray interior of slow cooker and add potatoes. Brush the top with 1 tablespoon butter and sprinkle with paprika. Cook on low 2-4 hours. If preferred, bake in oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.