Meet Our Host Family -- Breezy Hill Dairy - Alex and Mary Olson
Breezy Hill Dairy owned by Alex and Mary Olson is located near Dallas just off of County Road "A" in southern Barron County.
Alex joined his parents in the farming operation in 1981. The farm has grown progressively through the years as trends in the dairy industry have continually changed. Alex and his wife, Mary, took over full ownership of the farm in 2001 and expanded their land base and grew the dairy herd from 95 to 120 cows. An expansion in 2003 took the herd up to 300 cows in a modern freestall setup. A fire in 2007 destroyed their flat-barn parlor and some heifer facilities, requiring a new milking parlor to be built. Today the herd consists of 485 Holsteins ( 30% registered) and a few Jerseys that are milked twice daily in a double eight herringbone parlor. Cows are housed in two four row naturally ventilated freestall barns. Sand bedding is used in both barns to promote cow comfort and productivity. From birth, all young stock are raised on the dairy to maintain biosecurity.
All of the crop land is used for corn silage and haylage that is stored in drive over piles on a blacktop base. A unique feature of the dairy is an enclosed commodity feed shed that allows trucks to unload inside to minimize weather damage.
Practices such as no-till, minimum till, grassed waterways and filter strip areas are employed on their 700 acres (200 irrigated) of owned and rented land. This ensures the land maintains good productivity while protecting the environment. Land conservation is an important part of their operation.
Breezy Hill Dairy has eight dedicated employees who are responsible for many of the daily duties such as milking, feeding and maintenance. While the couple manages the dairy as a team, Mary's primary responsibilities are the finances and purchasing and Alex is responsible for herd health and crop production.
Alex and Mary are very excited about hosting this event to show what agriculture is about in Barron County and what a beautiful area it is to live in.