LENA (NBC 26) — Carolyn Alsteen loves every single one of her cows, but she definitely has favorites.
“They are super happy," she said. "If they weren’t happy, we wouldn’t be here, and we wouldn’t be surviving.“
The Alsteens are a fifth-generation farm family.
“I guess it’s in my blood," said Mike Alsteen. "This is a family run dairy, my daughter Carolyn and my son Colby are with us, my wife Pam and I own it. We just try to be a close-knit farm.”
This Sunday, Alsteen Farms will host Oconto County's Breakfast on the Farm. There will be live music, self-guided tours, bounce houses, face painting and even a chainsaw wood carver. The only difference this year is the breakfast will be served in a to-go container to avoid serving lines, but it will still include scrambled eggs, pancakes, yogurt and more. June Dairy Month is about showing people how hard farmers work, and, how rewarding that hard work is, said Carolyn Alsteen.
“Growing up on a farm, you’re always busy doing something, and the farm always came first," she said. "So sometimes, that meant not being able to do other things that kids did, but honestly, I truly appreciate what it has done for me and where I am now.“
Over the past few years, the Alsteens have continued to update their technology and focus on sustainability efforts; they are currently putting in a new manure pit to control spread.
“We put a lot of time, dedication, effort in to basically growing our crops, growing our animals, and just seeing the end product is rewarding in itself," said Carolyn Alsteen.
After a tough year for the dairy industry, due to COVID-19, the Alsteens just hope the community comes out to enjoy the dairy breakfast this Sunday and continues to eat their favorite local dairy products.
“Hopefully, with time to come and summer's here, somebody can have an extra scoop of ice cream on their ice cream cone," said Mike Alsteen, laughing. "Maybe that will help us all out in the long run.“
The dairy breakfast will go from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Alsteen Farms is located at 9399 Belgian Road in Lena. Tickets for adults and children are $8 each. You can buy them in advance or the day of at the farm. You can find more information on dairy breakfasts and events happening all over the state here.