Breakfast On The Farm

Today I'm excited because I just found out that 
my family is again hosting this year's 
in June! Those of you from Wisconsin know that June being Dairy Month is a big deal, so farmers take turns showcasing their places by hosting a free breakfast on a Sunday to promote June Dairy Month. 
Here's the advertisement my brother sent:

Photo by my youngest brother, Mark Natzke

Growing up on a family farm has its challenges, but in the end, it really was an amazing adventure. Just look at our backyard playground! Of course, at 150 years old, our farm wasn't always this big. 

We built a milking parlor in the early 70s and increased our milking herd size to 250 holsteins, and that's where we stayed for almost three decades. Here we are in the spring of 1973:

Paul, the little boy on my right, lives on the farm with his family now.
My dad has just been named Wisconsin's 
Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year 
and the newspaper came out to take these pictures.

Siblings Tim and Debra watch as I clean up in the parlor.
We moved to milking the cows three times a day and increased the herd to 400 sometime between then and 2001, when an errant spark from an industrial-strength dryer lit the timber barn up and burned the place down. That was a sad, devastating day for our family for sure. But they rebuilt and hosted Breakfast On The Farm that year; Some 5000 friends came out to celebrate our rebirth. I took this shot from atop a silo at the neighbor's place. 

This year that number may double as people around the state (and country if you include us!) come to have a hands-on agricultural experience as they tour the barns and celebrate our 150-year anniversary with us. If you're in the Fox River Valley area on June 23rd, won't you stop by and say hi? 
We'd love for you to join us for some Breakfast On The Farm! 


  1. Kaitlyn looks so much like you in the photos where your sibs are watching you wash your feet. I hope you make it up as John and I would love to come to the farm for the breakfast.

  2. WOW! What an incredible legacy... and a testimony to perseverance and determination! (No wonder you are who you are!)

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  3. Barbara,
    I wish I was in the area, it sounds like a lot of fun. What an exciting childhood for you, so different than most. Have fun on June 23rd!

  4. What a terrific heritage! All this in a day when most people think that food comes from the grocery store. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

  5. This sounds like fun! I wish I would be able to make it but unfortunately I am going to be up that direction (Manitowoc to be specific) the week after this in June! I hope you have a fantastic turnout and I will keep my fingers crossed for fabulous weather!


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