Next Generation Stories

Celebrate Wisconsin Dairy Farmers

Family Legacy and Next Generation

Dairy farming is a family affair in Wisconsin. In fact, over 95% of all dairy farms are family owned and it’s not uncommon to find fourth- and fifth-generation farms. Farming is all about dedication and perseverance, sharing values and taking care of the land so you can pass on your family legacy from one generation to the next. These family farms take pride in preserving their heritage and investing in the future for your family and their own. 

Farmer Stories

Want to talk with one of these or another industry-leading dairy farmer in your coverage area to learn more about their achievements? 
Contact Liz Fitzsimmons at 608-203-7280 /

Kewaunee, Wis.

Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy

Family is central to Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy. The largest family-owned dairy farm in Wisconsin, they’re always thinking about the next generation with their work. They consider farming to be a labor of love and place a significant emphasis on FAMILY: Including their family, their employees’ families and the greater family of Northeast Wisconsin. They are a third-generation family farm, with a fourth generation ready to keep the tradition going. This is why they prioritize initiatives that help foster the next generation’s dreams, like sustainability and agricultural education. Their methane digester can generate enough electricity to power neighboring towns, demonstrating their renewed promise to those around them. No matter the connection, the Pagels view everyone as family, and thus carry a unique responsibility to take care of others. Their deeply rooted commitment to the land, the animals and each other has carried them through ebbs and flows and is a true mark of family farming in Wisconsin: Giving back to what, and who, gave to you.

Waupaca, Wis.

Brooks Farms

Agriculture roots that run deep and keep growing—that’s the legacy that father-daughter duo, Ron Brooks and Zoey Nelson, are leaving for the next generation. The Brooks family has farmed the same land as their ancestors for over 160 years. Now on its sixth generation of ownership, the farm operates under the Protection of Agriculture Conservation Easements (PACE) Program, meaning that the land can’t be purchased for future development. It was a farm then and will be a farm forever. Zoey’s family has worked hard to find their niche and fuel the local community, operating an on-site store with her sister, Sydney, and selling their cheese and beef products to local stores, wineries and cheese factories, fueling their neighbors. Their story is a great example of how dairy families don’t just work to maximize their own legacy, but also to create a bigger and longer lasting impact in their communities.