“The way we communicate and handle our day to day is really what has made us successful.”
Today, Sunnyslope Dairy milks 400 cows, raises 320 heifers, and crops 1,500 acres which includes corn, alfalfa and soybeans.
Both families are involved in the farm and appreciate the balance between work and family life.
Keith and Amy Mack, along with their sons Trevor, 15, and Derek, 10, live on the Sunnyslope Dairy farm in Reedsville, where the milking takes place.
Corey and Dianne Behnke, with their 15-year-old son Alex, live near Brillion where their stanchion barns raise and house heifers.
“We are very happy with the size of our farm because it lets us keep a great balance of work and family life,” Corey said.
“We’ve raised our boys on the farm and although moving manure with a skid steer is very different than when we had to shovel it as kids, they’ve grown up with an appreciation for hard work. We are both very proud to see that they have taken a great interest in the farm.”
Ready to host breakfast
Manke said, “The goal of the event is to educate the public about where their dairy products come from. It’s important for our industry to show the public the quality of our farms, the quality of life our cows have, and the quality of products that are being distributed to our homes.”
“I’m very excited to show people our process,” Behnke said. “We take a lot of steps to ensure our herd has the best quality life possible and we believe it’s important for the public to know that.”
Such steps include reducing the amount of concrete on which the cows walk.
Mack explained, “On our entire farm, there is only 30 linear feet of concrete that our cows ever walk on. Besides the bare ground, all other walkways are now covered with one inch thick rubber mats that are easier on the cows’ hooves. Little things like this improve our cows’ quality of life, which in turn increases the quality of milk they produce.”
The families said they are also excited to show off renovations done over the past few years including a new roof to their milking parlor. The new roof increased space in the building and increased ventilation and lighting.
One aspect that Sunnyslope Dairy’s owners said they are excited to show off
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is their commitment to technology.
“It’s a misconception that I’m excited to show people,” Behnke said. “Technology has made our farm very efficient and I think informing people about that is very important. Computers and GPSs help us to calculate our cropping yield almost instantly. Things like this help us plan for the future and help us be successful.”
Breakfast on the Farm is scheduled to run from 8 a. m. to noon on Sunday, June 9 at Sunnyslope Dairy.
The breakfast menu will include ham and cheese omelets, sausage, a variety of cheeses, strawberry yogurt, cinnamon bread and butter, donut holes, milk, orange juice, coffee and ice cream sundaes.
During the event guests will be able to take guided tours of the farm and see exactly what life is like in the dairy business. Families can bring their own cameras for photos with a calf. The Dairy Princess and Miss Farm Bureau will be crowned at 9:30 a. m. as well as an appearance from Alice in Dairyland. There will be children’s activities, a cow bouncy house, and veterinarian demonstrations.
“There’s something for everybody,” Manke explained. “From adults down to kids, our event is set up for everyone to learn and experience something new.”
Admission for adults is $7, children ages 5 to 10 is $4, and ages 4 and under are free. Sunnyslope Dairy is located 1-1/2 miles west of Reedsville at 20507 Sunnyslope Rd.
New Dairy Dash 5k run/walk
All new this year is the Dairy Dash 5k Run/Walk, which is set to begin at 7:30 a. m.
Registration prior to the event can be done by going to www.manitowocdairypromo.com.Day of event registration is scheduled for 6:30 to 7:20 a. m. Race fees do not include admission to Breakfast on the Farm.
All proceeds benefit Manitowoc County Dairy Promotion and Manitowoc County Farm Bureau.
Registration fees prior to race day are $18 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under. Day of event registration is $25 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under.