APPLETON, Wis. — Wisconsin has lost 64,000 dairy farms in the last five decades, according to the Wisconsin State Farmer. The future of Wisconsin’s dairy production may be under some pressure, but one dairy in northeast Wisconsin is celebrating more than a century in business.
Mark Lamers is the President of Lamers Dairy. Lamers said milk has always been a part of his life. He said Lamers Dairy started when his great-grandfather Jacob Lamers sold his first cans of milk to families in Kimberly, Wisconsin in 1913. Three generations later, Lamers said he was working on his family’s dairy farm.
“I grew up in a family of eight kids. And at one point in the other, everybody in the family worked here, whether it was on the weekends, or they did it for their full-time job,” Mark Lamers said.
The cans eventually gave way to glass bottles. The milk is also no longer processed in the countryside. Lamers said he brought the dairy to customers in Appleton.
“When we built the facility here, we said it’d be nice for our customers to be able to come in and see the milk being bottled. Then they can watch the milk, go right to the filling machines right in your cooler, and buy that same milk right off our store shelf,” Lamers said.
Ten thousand plastic gallons and five thousand glass bottles of milk roll off the assembly lines daily.
Eric McGuire has worked at Lamers for 18 years. He’s currently the vice president of business operations. McGuire said the Lamers trademark glass bottle is a customer favorite.
“They are just a little bit more sustainable. Our customers number one liked the way the product tasted and the glass better,” Eric McGuire said.
It’s no surprise that there’s another popular product at Lamers Dairy.
“Our cheese boxes which you can find in our retail store. We do about 3000 cheese boxes a year,” McGuire said.
While milk may be the golden ticket, Lamers said patience and keeping his shelves stocked with other high-quality dairy products has helped them in business for more than a century.
“A slow steady growth is what my father always taught us growing up in the business and never put too much into one one source,” Lamers said.
Lamers said he’s thankful he’s part of continuing a business started 110 years ago.
“It’s quite an accomplishment that Lamers is a family business that my great grandfather started. There’s not a lot of people that can say that. Being blessed with our operation and what we do, how we do things. It’s been a great joy to do that and we hope we can continue that going forward,” Lamers said.
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