Rose-Maar Dairy honors Clayton Ridge Elementary

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Rose-Maar Dairy of Garnavillo will hold a dairy presentation and giveaway to the teachers, staff, and students of Clayton Ridge Elementary School in Garnavillo on Friday, Dec. 4, as part of Dairy Cares, through Midwest Dairy. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker 

Rose-Maar Dairy of Garnavillo will hold a dairy presentation and giveaway to the teachers, staff, and students of Clayton Ridge Elementary School in Garnavillo. The event is set to take place Friday, Dec. 4, and is part of Dairy Cares, through Midwest Dairy. "Also AMPI, the dairy cooperative we sell our milk to, will be giving away a free cheese stick to each person and a free pound of butter to each staff member," noted Anna Wilson, spokesperson for Rose-Maar Dairy.

Troester Family Farm

Rose-Maar Dairy was established in 2019. "The Troester Family Farm began in 1954 when Oscar Troester, my grandfather, purchased the land we currently farm on," said Wilson. "Rose-Maar Dairy is now a fourth generation farm. My husband, David, and I farm with my parents, Mark and Rondee Troester, brother and sister-in-law, Amos and Tina Troester, and their daughter, June. Rose-Maar is a combination of my husband, David's, family farm Rose-Edge Holsteins, and my family's farm Maars Dairy. Maars is Mark, Anna, Amos and Rondee."

Farming has always been a way of life for the ambitious couple who have one son, Lewis, who is three months old. "I grew up on Maars Dairy here in Garnavillo and David grew up in Pennsylvania on his home dairy, Rose-Edge Holsteins, with his parents, Steve and Barb Wilson," she shared. 

"We raise corn, alfalfa, and oat crops and Holstein, Brown Swiss and Red and White dairy cattle on the 150 acre farm. We milk 90 cows two times per day," Wilson commented.

The Wilsons organized the event to honor the teachers and students at Clayton Ridge. "Garnavillo has always been home for me. This past year has been difficult for everyone, and it has saddened me to see schools being affected by all of this," Wilson said. "My mom taught at Clayton Ridge schools for just under 40 years. We wanted to honor the teachers and students at the elementary where she spent most of her teaching years. We can't imagine what all of them are going through."

Wilson saw a need to introduce students to the dairy industry. She explained, "We also saw a need to bring awareness about dairy products and dairy farming back to the schools. We felt this program, Dairy Cares, was a great way to introduce students to more information about dairy farming, and let them know there is a local dairy farm close by if they have any questions." 

Wilson described how farming and milking practices have changed throughout the years. She reported, "Farming and milking practices have changed drastically throughout the years. More technology has been introduced and farms are getting bigger. On our farm, we don't rely heavily on technology. We are in a tie-stall barn with limited technology." 

She went on to say, "When my Grandpa started milking they were in the same barn using buckets to carry milk, whereas now we have a pipeline to carry the milk to the milk tank. From there, the milk truck comes and picks up the milk. Some dairy farmers in the area utilize parlors and some even use milking robots to milk the cows."

Environmental responsibility

Area farmers need to meet the nutritional needs of an ever-growing population, but must also be responsible to the environment. Wilson noted, "We have always had sustainability and responsibility in mind with practices that protect the environment, as well as maximizing our ability to still produce food. It is always in the best interest of farmers to protect the environment while making a living because those resources are necessary for agriculture for the generations to come."

Residing on a dairy farm in Northeast Iowa can be a blessing. "The best part of being a dairy farmer in Northeast Iowa is being able to farm on the land my grandfather farmed and being able to farm with my parents. David and I both have traveled a lot internationally, and to me there is no prettier place in the world than Northeast Iowa. It is home!" she exclaimed.

Committee and board involvement

Anna is the secretary of the Clayton County Fairboard; Young Farmer Chairman of the Clayton County Farm Bureau Board; Midwest Dairy Association-Iowa Division Board member; member of the Young Cooperative group through AMPI; Clayton County Dairy Promotion Committee member, and a member of the Iowa Dairy Experience and Leadership Group through Midwest Dairy.  

David is a board member on the Clayton County Farm Bureau Board; member of the Young Cooperative group through AMPI, and a member of the Iowa Dairy Experience and Leadership Group through Midwest Dairy. 

They are both members of the Iowa Holstein Association; Wisconsin Brown Swiss Association; Holstein Association USA Inc.; Brown Swiss Association; the Red and White Dairy Cattle Association and St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Garnavillo. 

Outside of farming, the couple enjoys traveling to Pennsylvania to visit family and friends. "David enjoys reading and partaking in anything to do with Penn State athletics. On the side, I have my own baking business, Cowgirl Bakery, where I offer treats to family and friends. I love to bake and cook," she proudly shared. 

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