Each year Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm is hosted by a different family farm – learn more about our 2021 host farm’s history! Join the Augustian family at the breakfast this Father’s Day – June 20th, 2021!
The family has shared their history with us – read this wonderful story they have shared and view great photos!
Augustian Farms LLC started in 1882 when the original deed for the land was purchased. The farm is currently owned and operated by Todd, Gianne and Aaron Augustian. Brothers, Todd, and, Aaron, wanted to continue their family’s dairy farming legacy and continue the strong commitment to raising quality cows and being good stewards to the land.
Todd took ownership of the farm from his parents, Edward and Claire, in 2001, milking 60 cows in a stanchion barn. In 2005, a devastating barn fire destroyed the farm facilities, including a barn that was over 100 years old, and the entire milking herd. Todd was able to rent a barn from the neighbor and started to build back the herd. He started with 40 cows and grew to 240 in that facility. In 2007, Aaron joined his brother, Todd, bringing 100 animals to the farm, officially starting a farm partnership. In 2009, the brothers started an LLC and came home to the original farmland to build a new dairy, which included a double 6 parlor, accommodating 400 cows. The farm continued to grow to what it is today, housing 1,100 Holstein cows. In, 2015, the farm upgraded to a double 14 parallel parlor where cows are milked three times a day.
Youngstock are raised in Kansas by a custom grower. The calves leave the farm daily and return two months pre-calving. Augustian’s feel the drier environment in Kansas is better for calves and allows them to grow into healthier cows.
Augustian’s believe cow comfort is key to producing quality milk. The cows are housed in a cross-ventilated freestall barn and bedded with sand for ideal cow comfort. The sand is raked daily and replaced weekly. The large fans in the freestall barn allows the cows to stay cool and comfortable in the summer. Cows are fed a diet specially formulated by a dairy nutritionist that utilizes the crops raised by Augustian’s. Feed is pushed up for the cows 12 to 15 times a day making sure they always have fresh, quality feed to eat.
Augustian Farms uses a cow manager system that allows Todd and Aaron to track individual cow movements through special ear tags. Reports from this system will show how often cows eat, move and ruminate. The system even tracks each cow’s temperature. Reports are reviewed daily. This allows for a cow to quickly be monitored if they have deviated from their typical patterns.
Along with building new and improved facilities after the fire, the brothers also wanted to increase their farm conservation efforts to ensure healthy soils for future generations.
This goal led Augustian’s to join the Door-Kewaunee Watershed Demonstration Farm Network. The Network features four farms that demonstrate the best conservation practices to protect the Great Lakes. Through this network, new and innovative ideas are tested on a small scale and then, if successful, the practices are implemented on a large scale. Augustian’s have implemented no-till practices and use cover crops to help protect the soil. They have reshaped grassed waterways to meet today’s standards and have planted a portion of their land in native grasses for wildlife and a bee habitat. They believe that clean water and agriculture can coincide together and that farmers are also great conservationists of lake and stream water quality.
The Augustian’s farm 1,500 acres of corn silage, alfalfa and winter wheat for their livestock. These crops, along with some purchased protein and dry corn, will feed the cows for a year.
Both Todd and Aaron previously had careers off the farm but knew that coming back to the farm was in their blood. They have a passion for the agriculture industry and challenge each other to make Augustian Farms an operation that will be a part of Wisconsin’s strong dairy tradition well into the future.