Dairy farming is only place they want to be
By Renae B. Vander Schaaf
Date Modified: 07/10/2012 3:38 PM
LUCAN, Minn. — Kyle and Stephanie Goeller know that dedication, hard work and diligence are required if they expect to achieve their goals.
The Goellers, both 22 years old,have tested the waters and know that dairy farming is what they want to do with their lives.
"I quit sports in high school," said Stephanie. "The farm is the only place I want to be. I like working with animals, especially dairy cows."
She grew up on a nearby dairy farm. Kyle's experience was similar. He worked off the farm one summer as a welder.
"That life was not for me," said Kyle. "It must be in our blood to be dairy farmers."
His family's dairy was located near Bluffton.
Both Kyle and Stephanie enrolled in the dairy program at Ridgewater in Willmar. That is also where they met and eventually married.
"I heard a rumor that a relative of my dad's was going to sell out on his dairy cows," said Stephanie. "He told me no, that he was not selling the cows; but if that time came would I be interested." Stephanie was.
She and Kyle were in college at the time.
Dennis and Jane Plaetz eventually retired from the dairy side of farming. However, they didn't want to see the buildings stand vacant or the cows leave. They worked out an agreement with Kyle and Stephanie Goeller. The dairy became their operation on May, 1 2010.
"We definitely appreciate this opportunity," said Kyle. "We never would have gotten started if it were not for their help."
They make monthly payments to the Plaetz because they are buying the cows on a five year contract. The barn and its facilities are used for free. In exchange, the farm owners get for the liquid manure.
Stephanie milks twice a day, on the five o'clock hours. They are milking 50 cows in a tie-stall barn. Sixteen sand-bedded free-stalls house the extra cows in an adjoining barn.
"The bull calves are sold when one week old," said Stephanie. "We raise all our own replacements. The heifer calves are bottle fed for eight weeks. At ten to twelve months old they go to my dad's farm, where will stay for a few months until it's close to calving time."
Stephanie takes care of the calves andis in charge of herd health and AI. Kyle feeds the cpws,chooses the matings for each cow, does maintenance and keeps the financial records. Together, they trim the hooves of their own cows and others for producers in the Lucan area.
Their milk is sold to First District Association located in Litchfield.
Most feed inputs are purchased. The Goellers do rent 13 acres, which is planted to corn. The corn will feed the cows for six months and they have some rented pasture.