Day 11 of my “30 Days of MN Agriculture” is Wayne and Abbie Saemrow from Waterville. The Saemrows are involved in a 700 cow dairy who sells their milk to Land O Lakes. And as I have said previously, I love dairy and I have no shortage of dairy products in my home! Be sure to check out the pictures.
Tell me a little about your farm and/or business?
We are a four brother partnership with three generations active in our 700 cow dairy. We employ 17 full/part time people. They include a few family members such as myself, Abbie, a few nephews, the brothers and their mother whom is 89 years of age!! We raise all of our own young stock, so from baby calves all the way to springing heifers, and milking cows. We also grow a feeder steer to about 400-600 pounds. We also run about 2000 acres to compliment the dairy’s need for feed and manure management. We grow corn, alfalfa, soybeans, small grains, and a many different grasses all for use in the dairy or as a cash crop.
How long have you farmed or been in business?
Wayne grew up on this farm and milked 40 cows with his family. Then in 1994 the brothers expanded Saemrow Dairy into a 400 cows to later expand again in 99 to our current number. I myself started at Saemrow dairy as a part time employee milking cows on the weekends while I was working on a degree in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. I will be going on my 13th year after the week of the election!! My responsibilities are managing dry cows, heifer vaccinations, sick cows, fresh cows, breeding programs, and whatever else is needed to be done with cows.
What makes your farm/business unique or special? What are you proud of?
I think what makes Saemrow Dairy unique or special is the people. The fact that three generations and four brothers are working together on the farm along with their 89 year old mother, Marion is special. Marian helps out everyday twice a day with feeding calves holding bottles with new calves and washing bottles. Another point of interest is our long-term employees. We have a few really great people who have been with us for 15 plus years. I feel that something special is Wayne and I working on the dairy together. We really have a passion for cattle and taking care of them.
We are proud of our cattle and the work from everyone that help us have great looking cattle. We love to hear from professionals in the dairy industry that you have wonderful looking cattle!!! Wayne and I are also proud that we can work together and still be married!!!
Why do you grow/raise/produce? What went into your decision to do what you do?
We produce milk that goes to a co-op named Land O Lakes. Our milk is sold for primarily for bottling. We raise mainly Holstein heifers with a few exceptions for the fair which include a milking shorthorn and a brown swiss!! We also grow many different varieties of corn for corn silage or grain corn along with alfalfa, oats, wheat, grass, and soybeans.
If there is one thing you could change about farming it would be . . .
The extreme cyclical changes in the commodity market.
What is one interesting fact about your farm/crops/livestock/business you would like to share.
It would have to be the family and the people!! I don’t believe our farm is really all that interesting!!! I believe that what makes farms interesting is the difference in how people farm compared to yourself!! I can tell you other facts of how we do things differently. We have rotating crop agreements. One year we run corn and the next year the landowner runs soybeans. We have neighbors/landlords help out during harvest. The land we farm on we have a lot of rolling hills and we name every field!!
What do you love most about farming/business?
We love all the aspects of a dairy from growing corn to make corn silage to feeding it to the cows to making quality milk to healthy cattle and many other things. You never have a dull moment!!! No day is ever the same. One day you are milking cows, the next you are treating a milk fever, the next you are hauling heifers, or driving truck!! The variety is what makes dairy farming fun!!
What is one thing you wish consumers knew about what you do or your farm/business?
We have healthy cattle and that we take care of them 365 24/7!! We love being dairy farmers!!
What is one thing no one knows about your farm/business/product that you would like to share?
We feed our cows through an Omega balanced ration and that balance flows through into the milk.
Who are your customers? Or what would you like to tell your customers?
Our end consumer is potentially anyone whom consumes a dairy product. Our milk goes for bottling but we like to think that we represent any product that any dairy farmer has produced and the next dairy farmer represents us as well.
What makes Minnesota the place to farm/grow/raise/produce/service?
What makes MN the place to produce is amply water and fertile land. Those two things make MN a more sustainable ag community. We also have dairy infrastructure for processing.
What is one thing about Minnesota that people from other areas do not know about or are missing because they don’t live here?
The one thing in is the weather extremes. You can go from hot and humid to cold and windy in hours. We have blizzards, monsoons, heat, cold, etc.
What is your favorite Minnesota location?
Our favorite location is the North Shore of Lake Superior. We love the scenery and the hiking!
What is one ag-related place in Minnesota that others need to know about. What is one non-ag related place in Minnesota that others need to know about and why?
Ag – Any back road in the Southern MN. I find driving any location away from home is the best ag related place for us! We enjoy the field trip nature of farm country!
Non-Ag place would be any state park in MN. I love the state parks!! Every state park was created for something for the public to enjoy! Minnesota has such different terrain to enjoy and witness!! The state parks have become something like a bucket list for Wayne and I. It is our goal to try to go to every park in the state.