Daluges open doors for Rock County Dairy Breakfast
IF YOU GO
What: Rock County Dairy Breakfast
When: 6:30-11 a.m. Saturday, June 4.
Where: 3719 S. County G, Janesville
Cost: Children $2. Adults $6.
On the menu: All the pancakes you can eat as well as ham, yogurt, applesauce, cheese, milk and ice cream.
Other fun: Petting zoo, farm tour, kids games, live music and more.
For more information: Call (608) 757-5696.
LA PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP Nothing seems to speed up work on a to do list faster than the prospect of having 3,000 people over for breakfast.
After all, Peter Daluge and his family didn’t do any cleaning or remodeling they weren’t already planning on their farm on the southern edge of the city of Janesville.
They just hurried to get things tidied up in time for this weekend’s Rock County Dairy Breakfast.
It is the first time he’s hosted the annual event on the farm his family has worked for five generations, Daluge said. His great grandfather bought the property in 1908, he said.
The farm went for a period without milking cows until 1978, when Daluge started his own herd of three cows.
“I’ve pretty much grown from within,” Daluge said. “We buy a few now and then.”
One of those is the farm’s lone Ayrshire, a breed of mahogany and white cattle that are a little smaller than the more common black and white Holsteins.
She stands out among the rest of Daluge’s herd, most of which are registered Holsteins.
“I bought her because I thought her color was pretty,” Daluge said a little apologetically.
Daluge runs the farm with the help of his four children: Peter, Erin, Bridget and Megan.
Peter and Erin work full time on the farm. Bridget works for other local farmers as well as at a greenhouse, while Megan is a student at Craig High School.
Daluge loves the opportunity to work alongside his children, although it does pose a challenge he didn’t have to face in 1978 when he start up on his own.
“All my kids are interested in farming, there’s really only room for a couple of them,” Daluge said. “Still, it’s just a great place to raise a family.”
Daluge said the dairy breakfast is an opportunity for people who don’t know much about cattle to see how well they are cared for.
“It’s a good chance for city folks to get out to a farm and see the conditions in which we keep animals,” Daluge said. “You hear so many things. This is a good way to educate the public on what a dairy farm is like, how it operates.”
HOW THEY DO IT
The herd: Peter Daluge and his four children milk 135 cows—mostly registered Holsteins—on their farm just south of Janesville. In addition, they have 100 head of young stock.
Feeding: The Daluges raise corn and alfalfa on 156 acres. That’s enough space to raise about 75 percent of the feed needed for the herd. They buy the rest.
The cows eat a brownish product called total mixed ration. It contains corn, hay, protein, distillers grains, soybean meal and preserved corn and hay.
“You name it, it’s in there,” Daluge said. “Whatever is cheaper at the time, which nothing is these days.”
Milking: The Daluges milk their cows three times each day, which is common among dairy farms. Milking three times rather than two increases milk production and is easier on the cows, Daluge said.
“It’s a way to increase production and, also, with the expense of equipment, you want to run that equipment as many hours as you can,” he said.