The 2014 Stearns County Breakfast on the Farm was hosted by the families of Funk’s Midway Dairy, near Melrose, Minn. Despite the cool weather and early rain, over 1,500 people enjoyed the morning at Funk’s Midway Dairy.
Meet the Funks
John and Dorothy Funk began milking 60 cows in 1972. Along with having three sons: Greg, Jeff and Karl, join the family farm business, the Funks expanded their dairy in 1997 by adding a free-stall barn and milking parlor. They went through three different ex- pansion phases to achieve their current size. Most recently, in 2013, they built a free-stall barn for their heifers, which is located a mile and half from their dairy.
The Funk family’s purpose and mission is to own and operate a farm that provides quality family life, is profitable and productive for their family now and in the future, and beneficial to the community.
The Funks own and manage the family farm and all members play active and vital roles in making it a true success. John is the financial manager of the business and oversees the farm operations while Dorothy takes care of the bookkeeping and payroll. Greg is the crop manager and does the machinery maintenance. Jeff is the herdsman and manages the dairy employees. Karl is the overall farm manager, taking care of the daily operations of the farm. He also manages the heifers and young stock. Matt Hellermann is their feeder and manages the bunkers.
In addition, the Funks also have five full-time and seven part-time employees, who take care of milking the cows, caring for the cows in the freestall barn, help feed calves and do other farm tasks.
In addition to caring for their animals and land, the families of Funk’s Midway Dairy are active in their communities, their churches, and the dairy industry.
The Funk family farms 1,300 tillable acres, including growing the majority of the corn and alfalfa for their dairy herd. They also grow soybeans.
Most of their farming is done conventionally and nutrients for their crops are supplied from their dairy cows.
All manure from the dairy is used as either bedding or natural fertilizer, injected into the soil to maximize absorption and minimize odors. Nutrients from animal manure are considered organic and are an excellent source of fertilizer for growing their crops.
The Funk family feels an obligation to take care of the land, so they can preserve it for future generations.
Funk’s Midway Dairy milks 600 Holstein cows. The Funks’ cows are milked twice daily in a parlor that can accommodate milking 16 cows at one time. Their cows produce more than 10 gallons of milk each day.
All cows are housed in a freestall barn and can move around, eat and drink, or lay in stalls at any time. Their bedding consists of wood shavings and sunflower hulls on top of mattresses and water beds. Stalls are groomed twice daily and new bedding is added three times a week. A bedded pack, kept dry with straw and shavings, also provides extra comfort for certain groups of cows. Cows are cooled with water sprinklers when the temperature rises above 70 degrees, along with fans to help with air movement.
The Funk family believes that happy, healthy and comfortable cows will have good quality of life and that they will produce healthy and wholesome milk for all to enjoy.