Viergutzes to host Brunch on the Farm
Clintonville event scheduled for June 26
By Greg Seubert
A rural Clintonville dairy farm is gearing up for a big day later this month.
The Shawano County Farm Bureau will hold its annual Brunch on the Farm Sunday, June 26, at Triple D Dairy. David and Connie Viergutz own and operate the farm with their children, Jacob and Erin, at N12098 County Trunk D, Clintonville,
“The farm has been in the family 150 years this year,” David said. “We farm about 1,150 of corn, alfalfa and soybeans and milk approximately 500 cows with 500 young stock.”
“This is the third time the family has hosted the brunch,” Connie said. “We did it back in 1989 and 2006, so it’s been awhile. We kind of knew in the future that we’d maybe want to do it again. We approached the Shawano County Farm Bureau and said, ‘If there’s a chance, you need someone and you’re looking at this side of Shawano County, keep us in mind.’”
Activities will get going at 7 a.m. with the Dairy Dash and Stroll 5K Run at 7 p.m., followed by a Lutheran church service at 7:30 a.m.
Breakfast will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the menu includes scrambled eggs with diced ham, sausage, hash browns, cheese, cinnamon bread, milk, juice and an ice cream sundae with strawberries or maple syrup.
“Working with the Farm Bureau trying to organize things has been great,” Connie said. “We already keep our farm very clean. A lot of people really like the look of our farm because we keep it up.”
Lifetime of farming
David grew up involved with the farm from a young age.
“I probably started when I was 8 or 10 years old pushing feed to the cows with a scraper and doing whatever I could at that age,” he said. “It kind of progressed from there.”
A barn fire in 2020 caused the Viergutzes to consider selling their cows and quitting dairy farming, but they decided to move forward instead.
“We went from 80 cows to 200 and it gradually grew from there,” David said. “You try to invest in the stuff that’s going to help you the most and make you more efficient. About a year and a half ago, we put ear tags on cows to monitor their health. It’s like a Fitbit for a cow. It monitors their temperature, how much they’re eating, whether they’re sick. That was a real timesaver and a help for the cows. As far as the cropping part of it, we do variable rate spreading as far as fertilizer and planting so we’re not wasting any fertilizer or seed. It’s a money saver because you’re not over-applying.”
Jacob and Erin graduated from Clintonville High School. Jacob recently graduated Fox Valley Technical College’s farm industry short course and is back working at the farm.
Erin is studying elementary education and playing basketball at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon.
“Jacob plans to take over the farm and it all depends on when we’re ready,” David said. “He’s a lot more tech-savvy than I am. He easily adapts to the technical part of it more so than I do.”
Connie is expecting about 4,000 people to show up June 26.
“You will be able walk into one of our freestall barns and we will have our nutritionist and veterinarian there to answer any questions,” she said. “They’ll have a petting zoo for kids and other educational things. You’ll be able to get on a wagon tour, go through another barn and drive by our new calf barn. The new calf barn is a tremendous, efficient way we’ve improved a lot of stuff, not just with labor, but with the health of the calves. It really has helped.”
The Viergutzes said running a successful family farming operation takes commitment.
“A little bit of luck, a little bit of knowing what you’re doing and a lot of understanding of your spouse,” David said. “You have to give and take and it’s a combination of everything. It takes a great commitment because you’re on call 24-7 and sometimes, you don’t have a lot of time off.
“I don’t know if its the love of the land or the work that we do that keeps family members doing what we’re doing,” he added. “Apparently, we enjoy it. Otherwise, we wouldn’t do it.”
The Triple D Dairy is located at N12098 County Trunk D, Clintonville. From Clintonville, take State Highway 22 north 2 miles, turn left on County Trunk DD and continue 2 miles to the farm.
Tickets are $8 for ages 11 and up and $5 for ages 3-11. Admission is free for ages 3 and under. Tickets are available the day of the brunch, but only cash is accepted. Tickets can also be purchased in advance at shawanofarmbureau.com.