Dairy Farming is a Family Affair
by Tina Deetz
Like any business, there comes a time when a complete overhaul is necessary — in our case, building a new dairy farm facility for our cows was a tough decision our family had to make.
My husband Bill is the fifth generation to run our family-owned dairy farm. Our family’s farm was originally purchased in 1898 by Bill’s maternal great-great grandfather, Jacob Maurer. In 1922, Bill’s grandfather, Homer Maurer, rented the farm from Jacob.
Then in 1956, after their marriage, Galen and Thelma (Maurer) Deetz gained possession of Four Pines Farm. In 1990, Bill and his mother, Thelma, entered into a partnership that continued until Thelma’s death in 1996.
At that point the business became Bill’s as a sole-proprietorship, and a few years later I became the co-owner. That was the beginning of our ownership role in the family farm.
Bill has worked on the dairy farm since he was a child, and our children Mackenzie, Spencer and Dawson have also been a part of our farm from a very young age. Although two of them are now at college, they always pitch in whenever possible.
Throughout the years at the farm there have been many changes like adding to the herd and building new free-stall barns, but this most recent construction of what is now known as Four Pines Farm, LTD was a much grander transition. Our milking parlor was over 25+ years old and rapidly deteriorating, and our cows needed more room in the barns.
It was a long and arduous decision, but we eventually agreed to take a risk and build an entirely new facility consisting of two free-stall barns, a state of the art milking parlor system and a completely updated manure handling system. It was not a choice we made lightly, but rather, one that consisted of much research, professional counsel, financial consideration and prayer.
The overall process, from conception to completion, ended up occurring over the course of almost six years(not even counting the years prior, while Bill was trying to convince me to get on board!). We broke ground in the fall of 2012 and moved the operation to the new site on January 20, 2014.
As with anything new, we’ve come across a few glitches, but overall the facility is shaping up to be a great benefit to our business and the future generations of Four Pines Farm, LTD. We’re proud of the fact that both our boys, at this point, plan on returning to the farm and our daughter hasn’t totally ruled it out. I suppose you could say that, “It’s in our blood.”