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Dodge County Farm Couple Wins 68th State OYF Award
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/24/2022

A southeastern Wisconsin dairy farm couple has been named the winners of the 2022 Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer Award. Kyle and Rachel Zwieg of Ixonia earned the title in Neenah on Saturday after competing against five other finalists for the award.

The Zwiegs own and operate a 70-cow dairy operation that they acquired from Kyle's parents. The couple installed robotic milking equipment on the farm in late-2020, which Kyle feels has already benefited them financially.

"Installing the robots has allowed us to transition to three times-a-day milking and boosted our production from 101 pounds per-day per cow to over 115 pounds per-day," Kyle told Wisconsin Ag Connection. "Our growth philosophy has been to increase our efficiency and production, rather than expanding in size."

Kyle is the sixth generation on the operation. They also grow cash grain on 1,400 acres of land through a 100 percent no-till cropping system.

Also on Saturday, Mike and Gina Redetzke of Colby were named first runners-up in the OYF competition. They operate a custom-raising heifer operation and run a small grass-fed beef herd. And Bryanna and Dylan Handel, Barneveld, were presented with the Speak Up for Ag Award.

Other finalists in the competition were Keith & Stephanie Abts, New Franken, Matt & Sara Hintz, Amherst; and Ryan & Megan Prellwitz, Ripon.

Meanwhile, Philip and Laura Finger of Oconto, who earned the statewide title in January 2020; and Joe and Ashley Dudkiewicz, Crivitz, who were the 2021 OYF runners up, have both been selected as national finalists for the award. They will complete at the National OYF Awards Congress next month in South Carolina.

The Wisconsin OYF program was developed in 1954 to recognize the younger generation of successful agriculturists in the state. Winners are selected based on progress in their agricultural career, soil and water conservation and contributions to community, state and nation.

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