In a continued effort to encourage communication in rural communities, four Wisconsin dairy farm families are opening their farms to the public during August as part of the ACE (Agricultural Community Engagement) On-the-Farm Twilight Meetings.

This is a free, open invitation to community members, educators, leaders, elected officials, conservation officials and dairy and livestock producers. Join the conversation and discuss important issues relating to our communities, resources and farming in rural America. Each dairy farm tour begins at 6 p.m., with an ice cream social served at 7 p.m., followed by a guided farm tour.

The goal is for rural Wisconsin community members to work together and discover how agriculture and our local communities can thrive and be stronger, standing together. The facilitated Q&A session and discussions will conclude by 8:30 p.m.

The dates and locations for each event:

Thursday, Aug. 13
Kinnamon Ridge Dairy LLC
53175 White Road
Reedsburg, Wisconsin, Sauk County

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Kinnamon Ridge Dairy is a fourth-generation dairy farm. Owners Jerry and Linda bought the family farm in 1981 from Jerry's parents. Beginning their business, they milked 48 cows and have grown in stages over the past two decades to incorporate their adult children, Ryan and Nathan, into the family business. They now milk 800 head and crop 1,000 acres. They also care for 850 youngstock.

Tuesday, Aug. 18
Wayside Dairy LLC
3603 Wayside Road
Greenleaf, Wisconsin, Brown County

The Natzke family has a long history, dating back to 1863. Today, Dan, along with his son Jeremy and nephew Paul, run the 1,250-cow dairy farm and crop 1,500 acres of land to raise silage, haylage and cottonseed. Completely rebuilt in 2002 following a barn fire, the dairy has state-of-the-art facilities, built with optimal cow comfort and employee safety as top priority. Cows are milked three times a day in a double-20 milking parlor.

Wednesday, Aug. 19
Heeg Bros. Dairy LLC
F2394 Cty. Road N.
Colby, Wisconsin, Marathon County

In 1999 the partnership was created with brothers Mark, Gary and Jay Heeg. At that time they built a new freestall barn and parlor. Farming on separate farms, the families decided to combine dairies and milk at one location and raise heifers at their parent's farm. The family's dairy farm currently milks 995 cows and crops 2,500 acres of corn and alfalfa.

Thursday, Aug. 20
Bomaz Farms
1603 Cty. Road Z
Hammond, Wisconsin, St. Croix County

Bob and Kay – with their son Tom and his wife, Ashley, and daughter Annette and her husband, Steve – own and operate the family dairy farm. They raise 700 registered Holsteins and youngstock, and they grow their own haylage, corn silage and corn on 1,900 acres of cropland. They are dedicated to comfortable cows, great feed and superior genetics as the formula for success of the operation.

The ACE On-the-Farm Twilight Meetings are offered through a partnership between Professional Dairy Producers (PDPW), the Wisconsin Towns Association and the Wisconsin Counties Association. There is no charge to attend the ACE On-the-Farm Twilight Meetings.

For planning purposes, contact Wisconsin Towns Association to register. Email them or call (715) 526-3157. PD

—From Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin news release