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University of Minnesota Extension

Fillmore County Farm Family

Johnson family

In 1977, owning just six cows, Jon Johnson purchased the family’s home farm in Fountain. Through hard work, perseverance, and the help of some happy cows, the family farm has grown to more than 1,400 animals and 1,200 acres of alfalfa, corn and rye. Upon graduation from college, his son, Michael, joined the farm in 2009. The next generation is excited for the opportunity to continue the legacy of the farm.

At Trailside Holsteins, the Johnsons are passionate about their animals, the land, and producing a wholesome, quality product. In 1996, the first free stall barn was built where cows are housed in sand-bedded free stalls and always have access to feed and water. The family strives to provide an enjoyable and safe environment for their animals and employees. As dairy farmers, the Johnsons understand that it is important to be good stewards of the land. Managing the land in a sustainable fashion ensures a positive future for the next generation and their community.

Trailside Holsteins is a place where the family and an amazing group of employees milk cows. Cows are milked three times a day in a double-8 parallel parlor. All the farm’s replacement animals are raised on the farm and fed with feed grown on the farm. The Johnsons raise alfalfa and corn with rye as a cover crop. The farm uses several sustainable farming practices including crop rotations, contour strips, cover and perennial crops, and manure as a natural fertilizer.

The Johnson family consists of Jon and his wife, Sharon, and Michael and his wife, Margaret. Michael and Margaret have five kids, Sawyer, Levi, Claira, Jacob and Royal. 

The Johnsons are members of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, the Fillmore County American Dairy Association, the Midwest Dairy Association’s Corporate Board, the DHIA board, and the Preston Area Community Foundation Board. Family members are active in their church community including teaching Sunday School and serving on the church council. The Johnsons also participate in the Adopt-A-Highway program.

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