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Farm City Days draws a crowd

Heather McAbee, volunteer from Bremer Bank, hands out milk to visitors of Farm City Day as they came off of the crop tour and hayride Saturday.1 / 3
Members of the St. Croix Valley Collectors Association displayed an antique thresher, tractors and engines during Farm City Day at the Kamm and Van Dyk farms of rural New Richmond. Shown here a member throws bundles of oats into the 1938 Case thresher owned by Jerry Croes of Deer Park.2 / 3
Hay rides were provided between the two farms.3 / 3

A good crowd was on hand Saturday, Aug. 13, to experience a farmer's life at the annual Farm City Day.

This year's Farm City Day was a joint effort between the John Van Dyk family, owner of the West Croix Holsteins farm in New Richmond, and the Tom Kamm family, owners of Nova Holsteins.

Farm City Day, which started more than 30 years ago, gives city dwellers and area rural residents a chance to see working farms in action. And it gives people a chance to interact with each other and share a bit of food and fun.

People who attended were able to walk through tent displays, tour the dairy farms, take hay rides and enjoy free ice cream, milk and a dairy lunch.

The West Croix Holsteins farm has been owned and operated by John and Eileen and Christopher and Rikki Van Dyk since 2000. Prior to that, John and Eileen had a farm outside of Boardman since 1976.

Their current farm has 220 owned acres and 200 rented acres. They have 60 cows and 60 heifers in their West Croix herd. They also grow corn, alfalfa and soybeans for use in their dairy operation and on the market.

The Nova Holsteins farm began with Tom and Carol Kamm buying a 300-acre farm to house 60 milk cows and their heifers. A fire in 2000 had destroyed the barn, along with the 100 dairy cows. In June of that year, they bought another farm four miles north and rebuilt the herd with 19 milking cows. Today they have 150 cows and 250 heifers, in addition to farming 500 acres of corn and 300 acres of alfalfa and grasses.