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University of Minnesota Extension

Scott County Farm Family

Vern and Becky Wick

In 1957, Verne's parents, P.H. and Nellie Wick, purchased an 80-acre farm where they started the family dairy herd along with raising pigs, chickens, and steers. Verne has farmed on the original farm all his life and in 1988 he started renting additional land to prove for the growing herd. In 1989, Vern and Becky were married and purchased the farm in 1990. They continued their contract to sell milk to Bongards Creamery and transitioned to grade A milk, making changes to improve milk quality and cow comfort. Some other changes they made included adding additional feed storage and introducing Jersey cows into the Holstein herd to increase milk components such as butterfat.

The current farm consists of 46 Jersey and Holstein milk cows. They also have dry cows and raise their own calves for replacement heifers. The Wicks run a little over 160 acres of corn, alfalfa and oats — all grown to feed the livestock — along with 30 acres of pasture. They also raise broiler chickens and laying hens. In 2016, they converted all their acreage to no-till and twin-row planting. They plant winter rye as a cover crop following corn silage and small grains, and they rotationally graze the milking cows, dry cows, and heifers on the cereal rye.

The Wicks have four adult children: Shannon, and her husband, David Kolar; son, David and his wife, Marilyn; daughter Angela and her husband, Abraham Fonder, and son, Brenten Wick. Vern and Becky have three grandchildren and two more on the way. The Wick children and their spouses enjoy coming home to the farm when they are able and are eager to help with farm projects. All of the children had chores and helped out when they were growing up.

Verne and Becky were the 2020 Scott County Conservation Leaders of the Year and continue to work closely with the Scott County SWCD with their cover crop practices, grassed waterways and grazing practices. They are DHIA and Minnesota Farm Bureau members and proud patrons of Bongard Creamery. Verne and Becky are very involved with their parish church in Jordan and in their free time, they like to harvest maple syrup, grow and preserve produce in their no-till garden, explore new holistic and fermented foods, and enjoy the sport of deer hunting.

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