Our drive is to make the dairy better for the future.
Grotegut Dairy Farm Inc.
Calf and Heifer Specialist: Jennifer Wiley
- Redesigned their calf program with Cargill to improve health and overall well-being
- Started feeding HerdFirst® in June 2018
- Partners with the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center to educate the public
From beginning with 51 cows to being one of the first dairies to have a rotary parlor, Grotegut Dairy Farm Inc. has been focused on making the future better for the farm since 1965. Three generations in, Ashley Grotegut dreams of continuing to push forward just as the previous generations have, to keep the farm in the family. By redesigning their calf program as part of a renewed drive to raise animals better, the Grotegut family is making strides to do just that. The 2,600-cow dairy farm is operated by Ashley, her uncle Doug and brother Eric, along with the assistance of Eric’s wife, Rosario and cousins Kip and Gavin.
With the help of their Cargill Calf and Heifer Specialist Jennifer Wiley, Grotegut Dairy Farm has put a greater focus on their calf program. This new initiative is fueled by the Groteguts’ passion and desire to not only raise strong and healthy calves, but to also be able to raise all of their young animals on-site. “If you don’t know how to raise your calves you’re in the wrong business,” says Rosario. “You need to make sure you do almost perfect at every birth. If you don’t treat them well in the first hour, you’re out.”
Jen’s expertise, combined with the Groteguts’ passion, played an important role in the redevelopment of their calf program protocols and adherence. “I love working with Jen. When we have questions, she’s there. She always comes prepared to meet with us which allows us to make decisions.” This collaborative partnership has allowed the family and their staff to provide individualized attention to calves and improve their health and overall well-being.
Grotegut Dairy Farm is improving their future in more ways than one. They have partnered with the newly opened Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center in the eastern part of the state. The dairy provides cattle for the birthing center and opens their doors to the public every day for bus tours to help educate the community through a first-hand view into how a Wisconsin dairy farm operates. Rosario says this partnership has allowed them to “Share with the general public that it’s possible to have a good farm, create jobs, respect the environment and be sustainable.”
With a healthy group of calves and heifers on the farm, the future is bright for the Grotegut family, and they have every intention to keep it that way. “The best part about working here is that even when we have our bad days, we’re still family,” Ashley continues fondly, “We still know how to work together. You just make it work, there’s no other option. That’s the best thing about it… knowing that if something comes up they all have your back.”