WAYSIDE (NBC 26) — October 12th is National Farmers Day, which is a big day to recognize in America's Dairyland.
"We all work hard at what we do," said Dan Natzke, owner of Wayside Dairy LLC. "We take such a passion in making sure that it's a great opportunity to work for employees, and then we take great pride in being able to provide great housing and feed for our cows to produce a quality product."
Almost 12 percent of workers in Wisconsin are farmers, according to data from DATCP. Wisconsin is home to about 6,700 dairy farms, more than any other state, and 1.28 million cows. The dairy industry itself contributes 45.6 billion dollars to Wisconsin’s economy each year.
"We work hard at what we do," said Natzke. "We appreciate it anytime that other people show interest in what we do, it kind of says, 'Keep going, keep going, keep going.' And that's what we want to do. We want to continue to provide a great product for our consumers, and a place to visit. We want people to come and get the story of what we do.
At Wayside Dairy, the farmers' ancestors came over from Germany in 1863 and wanted to settle the farm and the local church, said Natzke.
"I'm the fourth generation," he said. "And then I farm with my son and daughter, and my nephew, which are the fifth generation. Our family's our most important asset that we have. And to be able to have my kids grow up on the farm, given responsibilities that sometimes they didn't like, but they learned a lot about discipline and work ethic, and now also, at the time of my life where now I can take grandkids with me and teach them things and give them responsibilities and to be able to work alongside a son and a daughter, it really doesn't get much better than that."