A dairy was started over 100 years ago on the Konu farm. Gerry Konu milked 25 cows after coming out of the military and has spent his whole life on the farm. Gerry’s nephew, Mark, joined the dairy operation in 1980 and the family built a new parlor and free-stall barn. The Konus calved year-round but tried to have most of the calves in April and May.
In 2019, the cows were sold, and the dairy operation ended. Mark now runs 600 acres of hay ground and sells hay to area livestock farms. The land produces about 1,500 round bales a year. He also works in the spring and fall for friends on their farm in New Richmond. Mark went to school for mechanics while working on his family’s dairy operation.
Mark has four grown children who used to be involved on the farm when they were growing up. Amie is a nurse with three children of her own; Andrea works in hospital administration and has one child with another on the way. Maria is working on her nursing license; she has two children. Son Bobbie, the youngest, has four children and lives in Texas.
The Konus have hosted pre-med and pharmacy students from the University of Minnesota-Duluth to witness firsthand the dangers of farming. When he was milking cows, Mark served on the board of the local chapter of the Minnesota Dairy Herd Improvement Association.