About UsMarcel and I had been married 25 years in 1995 when we started to think about Marcel's retirement, which was approaching. What would we do with the farm that we had inherited from my folks? So, we started investigating bison. We attended several meetings and "Days on the Farm". We got a book about the Wisconsin Bison Producers and started to take day trips to different producers. We would call 1 or 2 and take off on a Saturday and visit the farm. Finally in 1996 we decided we would like to try to raise this fantastic animal. Georgia Derrick owner of Bison Ridge near Packwaukee, became our mentor and very good friend over the years. So, we fenced in our woods area and traveled to southern Wisconsin to look at some heifers.
We purchased 4 1-year-old heifers and waited for them to be delivered to their new home in June of 1997. We were like proud peacocks when they arrived. They adjusted to their new home quite nicely and survived the winter. In the spring of 1999 we purchased a beautiful 2-year-old bull from a farm near Plymouth, WI. and as they say the rest is history. The next spring we had 4 calves on the farm and it has continued to grow.
In 2006 we had 9 calves born to the herd and now have 26 animals on the farm. The original 4 cows are still producing calves. Since they are very "herdy" type animals, we have most of our own animals on the farm. We find that with the size of our herd, it is easier than trying to bring new animals in.
Over the years our personal family has also grown, (not quite as fast). Our oldest son, Aaron has married a terrific young lady (Shelby) and over the last 3 years have had 2 sons. So, the Mildebrandt name continues. Our youngest son, Paul has married another terrific lady (Katie) and this January they blessed us with another grandson. So, we aren't keeping up with the bison, but our family is PRICELESS, as the saying goes.
We continue to add fenced in pasture to our expanding fields, one every year, so that we can continue to rotational graze the animals. As we are putting this together, we are waiting for the pastures to grow up so that we can put them on the "good" stuff. At present we a feeding them large round bales of grass hay. When we get them on pasture, we will rotate them every day so that they don't eat down too much too fast.
It is always interesting on the farm. I never get tire of watching them. They are a magnificent animal and if you ever get a chance to stop by our farm, or another bison producer farm in Wisconsin, please do. I don't think you will be disappointed.
If you do want to stop and visit, please call ahead to make sure we are home.
For more information about bison, click here