We visit the Stadler Farm in Birnamwood in today’s June Dairy Month farm stop, which is run by Irvin and Patty Stadler.
The Stadler’s milk about 75 cows with 150 young stock. Patty Stadler says though her grandparents were farmers, her parents were not, but she was still drawn to life on the farm.
“I met up with the neighbor kid down the road and I would come down here at night after school and help with chores, partly to get away from home life,” she explained. “I started falling in love for a young man [Irvin] and pretty soon we started dating, all of a sudden we got engaged and 24 years later here I am.”
The Stadler Farm has changed a lot since Patty spent her childhood days helping out, but she explains the change is for the better.
“Everything has gotten bigger and better,” she believes. “We’ve added a free stall area for our cows. We’ve added a manure pit. We’ve added no-till practices in our fields. We’ve added some steers for a little extra income.”
Between Patty and her husband Irvin, they do almost all of the work on their farm with the occasional assist from close-by family members.
“I have a brother in-law and two nephews up the road that if we run into a pinch, we give them a call and they come and help,” Patty said. “I have a wonderful sister in-law who does come 20 weeks a year to milk cows at night, so I can go bowling and get a night off. We have no children, just lots of cats who I consider my kids. I can see why people get bigger, so that they can afford the hired help because you need it.”
Patty says she can’t imagine not being able to be outside with the animals farming, even though it takes a lot of commitment, she’s dedicated and loves what she does.
“It’s getting harder and harder as we get older and there’s so many changes that you’ve got to be here 24 hours a day. There’s no taking off and to find someone to do your work here to take off is nearly impossible.”