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University of Minnesota Extension

Washington County Farm Family

Robert and Beth Kroening

In 1844, Robert Kroening’s great-great-grandparents came from Germany and settled in Niagara County, New York. In January 1877, August and Wilhelmina Kroening bought 160 acres in Baytown Township in Washington County. Robert is the fifth generation Kroening to farm in Baytown with his wife, Beth. They love their beautiful farm, which celebrates its 145-year anniversary this year.

Robert and Beth were helped to get started in farming in so many ways by their parents, Allen and Rosemaire Kroening, along with Edward and Mary Lou Volkert and Robert’s grandmother Edna Kroening. Robert and Beth have been farming for 36 years, shipping their first tank of milk to Ellsworth Creamery on April 15, 1987, with a herd consisting of heifers raised with Robert’s grandfather and Beth’s 4-H animals.

Robert and Beth milk 45 cows consisting of Holsteins and a few Jerseys. They rotational graze the herd during the summer months. They feed grain, corn silage and haylage along with dry hay year-round. The couple currently manages 375 acres of owned and rented land including pasture. They grow corn, soybeans, alfalfa, oats and Sudan grass.

Robert works full-time on the farm while Beth helps in addition to her full-time job at a local greenhouse.

Robert has served on the local town board for two terms. Beth has served on the Washington County ADA board. They both enjoy working with local 4-H families on fair projects. They are also members of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Afton.

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