Phil-Mar-Ru Farms



“Your experiences of your childhood help you gather direction for your future.” That is the idea at Phil-Mar-Ru Farms in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where they are encouraging the future of agriculture by helping kids get farming experience. If kids want to participate in shows, but don’t have a place to raise animals on their own, the Gartman family let them use cattle from their farm.

Phil-Mar-Ru Farms is a Dairy Operation run by the Gartman family; Mark & Carol, Luke & Liz, and Matt & Becky. Farming became a family tradition for them, so it wasn’t surprising that the story is told about young Mark who told his 6th grade teacher that he was going to be a farmer. That declaration stayed true into adulthood and has led to the 7th generation of Gartman farmers now that Luke and Matt are involved in the operation. There was a remark about being happy "99% of the time", but overall the men say they work well together because everyone works with the same level of commitment to be successful.

They each have their favorite part when it comes to their job as a member of the operation. Matt enjoys feeding the calves and the cows; Luke appreciates that every day, it is never the same; and though Mark may have agreed with the answers his sons gave to the question, his answer was pretty authentic. “Getting the milk check,” Mark responded with a laugh. The mainstay of the business is Dairy, but they run a little cash crop, too. They all enjoy the field work

The Gartman’s shared some interesting points about their farm. They said that they have planted wheat test plot, no-till on soybean stubble for Country Visions (started as KLC) for 27 years. They have had RR soybean since they were available in 1997 and they also did that with alfalfa when RR alfalfa came, consistency 5.0 was what it was called at that time. The barn at Phil-Mar-Ru Farms is a three-row Freestall barn. Since the Freestall was put up, they have been wrapping baleage to use for feed.

The County Fair is what is on your mind if you are a part of the Gartman family. Luke shows steers and registered Holsteins at the Fair. He works a lot with 4-H on the dairy and beef programs, is on the Sheboygan County Fair Board and served on the Holstein Board for 8 years. He likes old tractors, cars and trucks, and enjoys wood-working.

Heifers, pigs, rabbits, chickens, and geese are some of Matt’s Fair animals. There is also the cat show, family 4-H activities, going for a ride in his old cars and going fishing on his list of hobbies. Matt is serving as the Chairman of their congregation, Sheboygan County Forage Council, Eastern WI DHIC-Secretary, and an Ag Source Director/Secretary.

As the senior of the operation, Mark’s list of organizations and activities is not as long as it used to be. He is spending more time with his family. When asked about his hobbies, Mark replied, “9 grandchildren and taking care of grandma!”

The message of family and caring was expressed often in today’s Farmer Friday article about the Gartmans and their Phil-Mar-Ru Farms. We would like to thank them for that message and for letting us share it. We wish them continued success as they lead by example for the future generations!

#FarmerFriday #85. 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