Health benefits and a growing demand for the products they produce is why dairy farmer Kevin Wilke of Sturgeon Bay believes more operations are joining him in going organic. According to Pew Research, the number of organic farms has grown 56 percent since 2011, with Wisconsin ranked number two in the country with over 1,200 in operation. Wilke says farmers have to forget what they were taught when they were younger and embrace change in order to successfully make the switch like he did back in 2012.
In addition to using natural techniques to control weeds, pests, and illnesses, Wilke’s herd of cows are required to head out to the pasture at least once a day. Located just a few miles away from Wilke R Organic Farm, the DeFere Family Dairy in Sturgeon Bay was recognized by Organic Valley for being the “cream of the crop” for having the highest milk quality in Wisconsin among its members.