Byron and Sharon Gessner 

•Byron and Sharon Gessner have been working side-by-side for over 42 years. The couple operate Walnut Meadow Farms in the Town of Scott which is on the southwest edge of Sheboygan County. Byron's great-great grandfather immigrated in 1852, settled here, and began the farm. It was a dairy farm until the year 2000. When they were milking cows, they grew 100% of their alfalfa and purchased the rest of the needs. Then they sold the cattle and now do cash grain, corn and soybeans. The farm is located in the Kettle Moraine where there is a lot of stone. Since 1992, they no-til 100% of the crops and it has been very rewarding for the Gessners.

"I just knew it when I was growing up, I knew I was going to farm one day," Byron said. "I never pursued any other interests. I guess it is just a family thing." Working with family can be challenging at times, but Byron found it very rewarding to work with his father. "He gave me leeway when I was learning the ropes and was always there to answer questions an offer advice when I needed it."  

Byron has always enjoyed being with nature and seeing what it had to offer him. He loves being outdoors and enjoys doing woodworking projects. "We have been very blessed," he said. "The Lord has been very good to us. I give him all the credit for everything we have accomplished." Byron and Sharon raised 4 children, which brought about additional blessings with 11 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. The younger generation hasn’t come on board yet with the farming operation, but Byron recognizes the important role agriculture has had in his family being passed down from previous generations to him.

Working on the family farm isn't Byron's only job, he also works full-time at Country Visions in Random Lake. He is an active member of Lighthouse Christian Church, a past member of Sheboygan County Forage Council and has been teaching woodworking for the 4-H organization for a few years.

It has been a pleasure to feature Byron as this week's Farmer Friday to showcase Walnut Meadow Farms and the experience he brings to his role with Country Visions. Thank you to Byron and Sharon for their story. We wish you the best for continued success!

Farmer #60. To show our appreciation to our producer members, Country Visions Cooperative will be giving a snapshot look of our customers and their operations in this feature each Friday