Q&A with the Knorn Family of Junion Homestead Farm

What is your farming background?  Are you a 1st-generation farmer, or do you come from many generations of farmers?

Junion Homestead Farm cloudy
Junion Homestead Farm cloudy

Tony was born and raised on a farm in Rib Lake, WI. When he moved here after marrying Peggy, he worked for two other local farms before purchasing Peggy’s parents farm in 1993.  Peggy’s parents, Lawrence & Magdalene Junion sold the cows in 1966 when Peggy was young, they cash cropped the land after the cows left.  Tony and Peggy brought back the cows and are the fifth generation on the farm – their children are the 6th generation, and their grandchildren are 7th generation farm kids!

What hardships have you had to overcome, personal or professional?  How have they shaped the farm/you?

There are two hardships that stick out most in their minds. The first was the fire that destroyed the farm’s shop. The fire happened on February 5, 1997.  Tony was able to get one tractor (the IH 666) out before the burning building was totally consumed by the fire.

The second hardship was the learning curve they experienced in their 2007 expansion.  Learning how to manage the compost bed pack facility proved challenging in the beginning.  They lost a lot of good cows the first year to toxic mastitis – there were times they were unsure the pack barn was the best decision, but as they learned to manage the pack the cows’ health improved!

Junion Homestead Farm show cow
Junion Homestead Farm show cow Grace Advent Carlene Ex92 3E (named after the country song Carlene!)

Growth & Education:  How did you grow your farm, and yourselves, to result in what we see today?

Tony was enrolled in the Young Farmer Class taught by Bill Zemke through NWTC. When the cows came home in 1993, they took things slow, remodeling the barn one side at a time. They have always had a desire to learn the most they can, and to do the best job possible on the farm. They believe in researching and consulting with others as they prepare to make a change on the farm.  When looking to expand, they researched compost pack barns and went on farm tours to the see the facilities first hand. They also toured numerous parlor set ups before choosing the Dairymaster parlor.

To sum it all up:  What do we see here today?  What are your achievements?  What are your goals & values?

Junion Homestead Farm show cow
Junion Homestead Farm show cow

What you see today on the farm has been 150 years in the making.  They have the 5th, 6th, and 7th generation of family working and growing together on the farm. They value the tradition of family farming and are proud of the fact that they are the blood, sweat, and tears of the operation since 1868.

“We strive to manage our cattle and land the best we can to ensure the success of the farm and the generations to come.”
~The Knorn Family of Junion Homestead Farm

 

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