Nearly 3,000 people attended the 2013 Stearns County Breakfast on the Farm held at Groetsch Dairy, home of the Steve & Lisa Groetsch family, on Saturday, June 6, 2013.
Meet the Groetsches
Steve and Lisa purchased their farm from Steve’s parents, Clarence and Rita, in 1989. They started with 47 cows. In 1997, a freestall barn and parlor were built to replace the dairy barn that was built in 1902. The new facility allowed them to grow to 180 cows. Between 1999 and 2009 several other buildings were replaced or added; including a new calf barn in 2001 with an automatic feeder, which was added in 2009. In 2011, with an addition on the freestall barn, four Lely robotic milkers and a two stage manure lagoon were added. They now milk 240 cows in a facility that runs 24/7.
Alfalfa and corn are grown on 600 acres, rented and owned, to feed the 280 cows, 220 young stock/heifers and 30 steers. When heifers are 6 months old,they are moved to a farm owned by Lisa’s brother and sister-in-law, Doug and Sue Overman. The heifers return two months before having their first calf. Lisa’s brother Doug cares for all the heifers at his farm as well as feeding cows, doing field work, and making repairs at Groetsch Dairy.
Groetsch Dairy has 10 part-time employees which include Steve and Lisa’s three children: Jennifer, Matthew and Katelyn. Jennifer is attending UW River Falls for Dairy Science/Pre-Vet, Matthew is attending Alex Tech for Carpentry, and Katelyn is a junior at Albany High School. Employees have a variety of tasks; caring for the cows in the freestall barn, caring for calves, field work, feeding cows, bookkeeping, and general farm tasks.
The robot that keeps the cows’ feed where they can reach it.
Steve and Lisa share the herd health responsibilities and farm management decisions. Steve makes the crop decisions, machinery and robot maintenance, and oversees the herd’s milk performance. Lisa cares for the young calves, manages the employees, and manages the finances.
Steve and Lisa are members of First District Association and are on the Young Cooperators Board. Steve, Lisa and their children are members of the Church of Seven Dolors; where Lisa is serving on the Welcoming Committee. Steve and Lisa have hosted countless tours of their farm for individuals and groups in order to share and educate others about dairy, agriculture, and the lifestyle of farming.