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Dairy Tours in Todd, Stearns, Benton Counties This Summer

Dairy Tours in Todd, Stearns, Benton Counties This Summer

The Maus family dairy tour in Todd County is Wednesday.

The University of Minnesota Extension Service in Todd County is having a dairy farmer tour at the James and Jenn Maus Dairy Farm on Wednesday, July 11.

The Maus Farm had a devastating barn fire in 2009 and have since rebuilt their dairy facility. The Maus family elected to construct an 82-cow sand-bedded free-stall barn. Cow comfort and production has been excellent and they maintain a SCC in the low 100's. They also installed a double-11 parabone swing parlor. Even though this is a new facility, the concepts follow close to what we describe as the low-cost parlor. By low cost, we imply low construction cost while still achieving an efficient and comfortable parlor for people and cows.

Dairy Tours in Todd, Stearns, Benton Counties This Summer

James and Jenn are also in the process of transiting the farm from James' parents Dennis and Rita Maus. Properly intergenerational transitioning of farms and businesses is a challenging and necessary process in today's volatile market.


-From Long Prairie: 6 miles south on US 71, 8 miles west on MN 27, 3 miles south on 151st Ave, 1/2 mile west on 150th St, farm is on right.

-From Sauk Centre: 6 miles north on US 71, 6 miles west on Cty. Rd 2, 1 mile north on 151st Ave, 1/2 mile west on 150th St, farm is on right. Watch for signs.

Registration begins at 10:00 AM and the tour begins at 10:30.  There is no admission fee at this year's summer event.  Lunch provided at the completion of the tour.  Pre-registration requested, but not required.  For registration or further information or please call the Todd County Extension Office at (320) 732-4435, e-mail

Other Tours Ahead

-Stearns County Dairy Steer Tour July 13, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Steve and Shelley Kern farm near Watkins will host a farm tour on the topic of raising dairy steers on Friday, July 13. The Kerns feed out about 500 Holstein steers each year. They use different kinds of housing systems including: mono-sloped barn, pole sheds with open lots, and mounds with drive-by feeding. Discussion will include feeding strategies with high feed prices and marketing dairy-beef to maximize profits. This will be useful to people feeding or thinking about feeding Holstein steers.

The farm is located at 16596 Meeker-Stearns Street, Watkins. From Watkins, this is 1 mile north on County Rd 2, west on Meeker-Stearns Street for 2 miles. The farm is on the right. Watch for signs. Pre-Registration is requested, but not required, by July 11. Call the Stearns Count Extension Office at 255-6169 or 1-800-450-6171.

-In Benton County, a tour is being planned at the Pete and Kevin Ackerman farm for August 14 and will feature a DeLaval automatic calf feeding system that they installed in January 2012 and heifer facilities built this summer. The Ackermans were the lowest somatic cell county herd for Benton DHIA for 2011 at 88,000.

In Morrison County, a tour is being planned at the Kent and Stacy Happke farm north of Pierz on August 14. Happkes put in a double-6 herringbone parlor in the summer of 2011. They have an 85-cow herd with a 26,000 pound rolling herd average and SCC less than 100,000.

For all the tours we request that those attending wear clothes that haven't been worn in barns since laundering. Plastic boots will be provided for the purpose of herd health care purposes.

-By Dan Martens, U-M Extension
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