ASHIPPUN – “All the men and women there ended up terrific to meet. Rachel and I experienced a wonderful weekend,” explained Kyle Zwieg, the sixth generation Oconomowoc place dairy and crop farmer who was named Wisconsin’s Exceptional Younger Farmer just lately at Neenah.
The pair was picked from a subject of six candidates from close to the state, all fantastic candidates in their own ideal, according to the Zwiegs.
Zwieg’s household proven their farm in 1856 and Kyle says he always had an fascination in continuing the spouse and children farming organization but he understood it would choose very careful organizing and education.
He began his effort and hard work by getting a position at a thriving close by dairy farm exactly where he not only gained money that he would sooner or later use to spend in his family’s farm but gained a wealth of expertise from his businesses through the course of action.
The sizing of his family’s farm was a problem. In 2009 when Kyle was interested in signing up for the company, the dimensions of the farm was scarcely huge sufficient to assist his mother and father and grandparents. Building the scenario worse was the point that 2008 was also a disastrous crop 12 months for the Zwiegs. Most of their household farm’s tillable acres sit in a valley specifically adjacent to the Rock River which knowledgeable report flooding that yr. The family members lost 65% of their crop.
Inspite of that setback, Kyle continued to abide by the small business program he had been occupied formulating. He invested all of the financial savings he had from functioning on the Koepke farm in buy to double the dimensions of the dairy herd and aggressively go after additional acreage to lease, as properly as developing a grain storage facility for feed and money grain gross sales.
For five many years he thoroughly adopted his business prepare to changeover possession of the business.
Zwieg suggests his mom and dad experienced often inspired ongoing education and learning. As his businesses, the Koepke loved ones further more encouraged him by pushing him to show up at the UW-Madison’s Farm and Industry Small Class program and by spending half of his tuition.
Via that program and his employers, Zwieg learned about the optimistic consequences of establishing a no-until program on their farm. He also fulfilled a lot of other mentors through the quick system application who aided him save on the input charges of his cropping devoid of sacrificing produce.
Because 2010 the family has adopted a 100% no-until cropping method and they have experimented with a large vary of equipment attachments and self-fabricated implements.
Further than gear modifications, they have been intense in attempting new procedures these types of as aerial seeding of cover crops into standing corn and soybeans which commenced in 2018. This challenge was accompanied with an EQUIP grant via the NRCS.
Zwieg also was part of one particular of the very first courses to be trained on the nutrient management application SnapPlus throughout his 2007 classes at UW-Madison.
One particular of the difficulties in escalating the farm was to be equipped to attain adequate land in the spot to rent. He figured out about the relevance of building associations in the region when trying to maximize the land foundation. Each calendar year he was equipped to secure more land and in the 2022 cropping yr will have accumulated more than 1300 acres. The improved land foundation has assisted in carrying out his fiscal aims.
The dairy company on the Zwieg farm also saw numerous adjustments throughout the very last decade.
At the starting of his involvement with his family’s farm in 2010, the family members was milking 40 cows in a common stanchion barn and cows were ingredient fed. The subsequent 12 months the Zwieg’s switched to a TMR program and by 2012 all cows ended up in sand-bedded freestalls. Small enhancements ongoing until finally the family manufactured the leap of putting in a new single unit Delaval robotic barn at the stop of 2020.
Zwieg referred to as the robotic barn his largest problem and most significant “new practice”.
Transferring the cows into the freestalls assisted him complete his initial intention of boosting manufacturing to over 80 lbs . of milk for every cow. The farm’s herd regular ongoing to rise in the a long time that followed. He explained the recent move into the robotic barn in 2020 designed the Zwieg farm Delaval’s highest developing farm. According to DHIA and Delpro Data, the herd is at this time on pace to realize 115 lbs for every animal.
Zwieg’s wife Rachel has always been supportive of his farming endeavours and her off-farm profits served contribute to the couple’s intention. In 2015, with the birth of their very first son, Theodore, she still left her work with the program to care for their son and help with farming responsibilities. Then 18 months later on the few welcomed twin boys, Landon and Logan. From that time on, caring for their 3 younger kids became her complete-time responsibility.
As their boys proceed to grow and experienced Rachel has bit by bit been in a position to choose again her active part in farming functions. She is most energetic with the cattle, accomplishing jobs with the herd and taking on administration of the robotic barn during busy cropping seasons. Rachel has also produced and maintains various social media internet pages for the farm which serve for group outreach and networking.
The operation’s Fb page has grow to be primarily beneficial for cultivating new landlords for tillable acres and furthering relationships with current ones.
Conservation has been a huge component of the Zwieg cropping approach. They have attained a excellent deal of knowledge in this spot as a aspect of the local farmer-led watershed team considering that 2017. Zwieg also credits his association with the UW Discovery Farm software although attending faculty at UW-Madison where he served an internship with the application, as a further worthwhile finding out encounter.
In 2010, the family positioned a long lasting conservation easement on their primary homestead home. The easement assures that the land will continue to be in manufacturing agriculture and can by no means be subdivided for improvement.
Equally Kyle and Rachel are quite energetic in their local community. Kyle serves on the Tall Pines Conservancy Board of Administrators and is also a portion of the Farmers for Lake Country corporation.
He also served as the Oconomowoc FFA president and acquired his American FFA diploma. In the Waukesha County Farm Bureau he served as the Young Farmer chair. The Zwiegs ended up both of those lively members of the Ashippun Hearth and EMS for eight a long time. They are customers of the Whitestone Neighborhood Church wherever Rachel functions as the church Mom’s Team chief.
With their farm remaining on the fringe of city development by the town of Oconomowoc, the Zwiegs fully grasp the value of endorsing the agricultural sector and the challenges it faces.
Zwieg suggests he has taken classes and turn out to be associated with organizations that assistance him develop his speaking and communication competencies in order to do a superior career telling the tale of agriculture. The relatives features farm tours and usually takes benefit of numerous tv and newspaper interviews to support tell their tale.