Wisconsin’s Agricultural Community
Community is an absolutely beautiful thing. Seeing it flourish around a lifestyle is even more exciting.
This lifestyle is agriculture. More specifically, Wisconsin agriculture.
The Knorn Family of Junion Homestead Farm lives by everything that screams America’s Dairyland, including quintessential red barns, black and white cows and happiness around the kitchen table.
If you are anywhere near Northeast Wisconsin around June 17th, you can have the awesome opportunity to meet the family, experience Wisconsin farm life AND eat breakfast! The Knorn’s are hosting Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm, and you are invited!
Eat breakfast around a table with your family, explore the dairy, ask questions about cows and milk, take your kids to see the farm equipment, explore the petting zoo, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, and see what it is like to be a dairy farmer who works hard to make the main ingredient in all of your fave dairy products!
You can join this amazing community and learn about exactly where your food comes from and the process of how it gets to your plate!
The Junion Homestead Farm
The Knorn Family owns and operates the Junion Homestead Farm in Casco, WI. The family farm, now overseen by fifth generation famers Tony and Peggy Knorn, was established in 1868 by Lambert and Marie Julinne Junion and their 12-year-old son Xavier.
The now sesquicentennial farm started with 320 acres and was the home of to a variety of livestock, including pigs, chickens and cows.
The second generation on the farm, Xavier and Josephine, later split the farm in four 80-acre parcels, one for each of their four sons, with one remaining the original homestead.
The farm has seen a lot of growth and change over the years. In the 1940’s, the barn was remodeled with gutters and stanchions for 34 cows. In June of 1966, Peggy’s parents, Lawrence and Magdalene Junion (fourth generation), sold the cows and cash cropped the land, and ended up farming for 50 years.
With the marriage of Peggy and Tony Knorn on September 18, 1982 and their move to the farm in October 1990, the farm really started to change. Tony and Peggy continued to cash crop the farm until January of 1993 when they purchased the homestead from Peggy’s parents. They did a lot of remodeling, starting with one side of the barn. They put in tie stalls, put a barn cleaner in, built a new milk house, rewired the barn, installed a bulk tank, vacuum line, and milked cows with bucket milkers and a step-saver for the first year.
The farm kept growing with the addition of 29 cows and six bred heifers to the farm on May 29, 1993. In 1994 the second side of the barn was remodeled and held 36 cows. Unfortunately, a few short years later in 1997 the shop burned down. A new shop was built and the south end of the barn was remodeled to have 12 additional tie stalls and two maternity pens. Since then, many changes and improvements were made including two compost bedded pack barns and a swing-12 parlor.
The Junion Homestead is primarily populated by Holsteins dairy cows, including both black and white and red and white. However, they love a little variety and also milk Brown Swiss and Guernsey cows. There are no longer any chickens or pigs on the farm, but there are a few cats!
They farm alfalfa, corn, oats and winter rye over 450 acres through both their own and rented land.
Tony and Peggy have four children, Amanda, Megan, Amber and Mikayla. All of the girls have a passion for cows and agriculture, just like their parents. They care deeply for the future of the family farm and have absolutely no problem snuggling up close to their girls.
Amanda is the farm herd manager, caring for the herd’s health and well being. Megan and her husband Kyle also have roles on the farm involving the cattle and crops, and Kyle handles the maintenance of the farm and equipment. Amber is working as a hairstylist and makeup artist at Be A Belle Salon and visits the farm frequently and Mikayla is a freshman studying agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
The Knorns love farming because they get to work with so many aspects of God’s creation.
“From soaking up the sunshine to watching our plants grow, to seeing the miracle of life when a calf is born. Then seeing that calf grow up and become a cow. Farming is so difficult in many ways, but it also is the most rewarding at the same time. It’s a great way to raise a family,” the family shared.
One of their favorite memories as a family is when they used to pasture the cows every spring.
“It was fun when we put them out on pasture for the first time for the year to see them running and kicking up their heels with so much excitement!”
The family also shared two reasons they love about living and farming in Kewaunee County:
1. It’s a great place to grow crops, cattle and a family.
2. The huge agriculture community which is also very diverse and is a very important part of our economy.
As for Breakfast on the Farm, the Knorns thrilled to welcome neighbors near and far this June.
“We are most excited to share our celebration of 150 years of family farming with the public and to show them how everything about a modern dairy farm operates–from the care of our land to the care we give to our animals!”
To learn more about Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/926835364143479/
Take a look at some views of the family and farm!
Thank you to the Knorns for welcoming me to their home and farm for this photo session!
Would you like to document your family or farm with heirloom photos and a written story to share with your family, friends and future generations? Contact photographer and writer Alyssa Bloechl for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 920-445-8727.