Paulus Dairy, LLC

Paulus Dairy, LLC is a Holstein Dairy Farm in Fredonia, Wisconsin operated by Mike and Lori Paulus. Mike has been farming all of his life and has enjoyed the challenges and rewards it involves. “It is a great place to raise a family. We love to get our grandchildren here, it has taught them good work ethics and gratitude for everything,” Mike said. “Now, we are to the teaching stage as a family farm. We’re getting our kids involved and getting them set for their future.” Mike and Lori’s son, Andy, and their daughter, Tiffany, are both working at the farm and are a part of the operation. Mike and Lori are confident the farm will be in good hands with the next generation.

“I think that as our kids get older, they start to see why we raised them the way we did,” according to Lori. “Instead of just doing chores, they see the costs, see what HR is like, see the importance of working as a team and see why we do what we do. They are now seeing the whole picture. All jobs are different but all are very important. It doesn’t matter if you are a milker, a calf feeder or an owner, we all have our role in what makes this farm what it is. We need our employees to make it work.”

The Paulus family has learned that it takes good communication to work as a team. The family members try to let each other know what is going on, so they show that they are united as one. They feel that by setting that example, it passes down through the employees. The family members are all outside and working, helping out. “Just because we are the boss,” Mike said, “we are not ‘too good’ for any task.”

Learning to separate business from family and being able to have family time without business involved can be hard. They try to take one long weekend vacation each year that is designated for just family time. Mike also enjoys taking time for deer hunting and fishing. Lori likes gardening, working on projects around the house, arts and crafts, and babysitting. “We all put in a lot of hours,” Lori said, “but I am able to make my schedule flexible to continue to volunteer, babysit, and work with employees if they need anything.”

The Pauluses are part of Clean Farm Families, a producer led watershed group, promoting cover crops, reduced tillage/minimal tillage, and manure management. They try to communicate to the public what they are all about. “We are an operation that is environmentally friendly,” Lori said. “We want to show that we care about our animals and our employees.” They stay engaged with their community participating on the Ozaukee County Dairy Promotion Committee, volunteer as a Church Trustee, stay involved with Divine Savior Catholic School, and Mike is on Country Visions’ and Co Energy’s Board of Directors. Being in 4-H was a big deal when their kids, Andy, Becky, Tiffany and Carla were growing up. Their kids were highly involved in 4-H. Their daughter, Carla, is still involved as a dairy leader with Clover Leaf 4-H and makes a difference in the lives of “city” kids who wouldn’t normally have contact with farm animals. Thanks to the Paulus family, kids in the program can have the opportunity to use animals from their farm.

Thank you to Mike and Lori for being our Farmer Friday and sharing their family’s story. It has been several generations that have seen the potential in the next pair of “good hands”. Mike’s parents, Elvira and Ed, bought the farm from Elvira’s uncle. Best wishes for your family and the future of Paulus Dairy!

#FarmerFriday #68. 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