Dairy farming has been the life work of the Mayer family since they settled in Washington County in the mid-1800s. In fact, Shelly and Ike’s three children are the 7th generation to produce milk, meat and grow crops for their livestock on the rolling fields and pastures nestled in the hills of the Kettle Moraine within view of historic Holy Hill.
When Dwight and Shelly graduated from UW-Madison they knew their calling was to continue their families’ dairy farming traditions. Settling on Dwight’s home farm, the two started a new life together. Dwight fully dedicated his time to farming, while Shelly worked off the farm managing and facilitating educational programs. Soon they were raising their growing family and investing time in non-farm youth to instill a love for agriculture in the hearts of those who didn’t have a farm of their own.
The Mayer family want to continue their way of life and sought to protect their farm from the rapid development that surrounds them, so they turned to Tall Pines Conservancy. They are the most recent farm owners to secure a conservation easement on their land with the organization.
“Our grandchildren mark the 8th generation
at the Mayer Farm. It was the love of working with fine dairy cattle and farming that brought us together. While high development pressure has surrounded our community, it’s reassuring to know that due to the work of Tall Pines, the Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program and NRCS, we will be able to transition our land, passion and way of life to our children. Farming is more than a career – it’s our love.” —Shelly Mayer