Weis-Way Dairy will host 2011 Kenosha County Dairy Breakfast June 18

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Any host dairy farm of the annual Kenosha County Dairy Breakfast aims to make it a comfortable day for those who visit.

But this year’s host — Weis-Way Dairy Farm in Paris — have also gone a long way to make sure their dairy herd is comfortable every day.

Weis-Way Dairy is located at 21000 Highway 142. The dairy breakfast this year will be June 18 from from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. and will offer good food and fun farm-related activities.

Dan and Marie Weis purchased the farm from Dan’s parents — Barney and Ema Weis — in 1994. In 2008, they built their compost bedding pack barn that serves as the housing system for their 40 Holstein cows. The farm also has 73 acres for crop production.

Compost bedding pack barns are still somewhat unique to the area and the Weis’s traveled to Minnesota to see one in action before deciding to build theirs. Instead of a traditional cement floor the cows in a compost bedding pack barn are able to stand and lay down in a resting area with a thick layer of the soft pack. The pack is aerated by tilling, which keeps the surface fresh and encourages the  microbial composting activity. The system helps manage manure and is more comfortable for the cows.

“It’s the most cow comfort you can get,” said Dan Weis.

Though the Weis-Way herd is relatively small, Dan thinks the system could work for much larger herds as well.

“I think there’s a place for something like this,” Weis said.

Both Dan and Marie come from farm family backgrounds. Dan is one of 11 siblings — number eight in order. Dan and Marie’s son Brett is the fourth generation to work on the farm.

“It’s four generations of milking cows here,” Marie Weis said.

Besides the farm, the Weis’s also have operated Lakeland Septic Service for the last 18 years.

The family has been getting ready for the dairy breakfast for a couple of months. Just recently they helped stuff some 1,200 bags of promotional material. As the locations are selected years ahead, they have known for quite a while that this year will be their turn. They have not hosted the breakfast before, but are getting plenty of help from the Kenosha County Dairy Promotion committee.

Visitors on the day of the dairy breakfast can expect a meal of scrambled eggs, pancakes and other dairy goodies. There also will be tours, children’s games — including a pedal tractor pull, a Wisconsin products tent and displays of farm toys and the real thing — farm machinery.

Some of the first visitors may get to see milking as it happens. However, milking will be video recorded and played back  for those who arrive later.

“We’re hoping for good weather so people can park right here at the farm,” Marie said. If the weather is too wet for parking in the hay fields, parking will be at nearby schools with shuttle buses bringing breakfast goers to and from the farm.


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