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“Self Serve” On-Farm Dairy Store
The Tetzner family dairy relies on the honor system at their on-farm store near Washburn, Wis. While today they do use security cameras, people still help themselves and pay accordingly.
  “People are used to coming in, putting their names on an envelope, putting the cash inside, and getting the products they need,” says Jackie Tetzner. “We don’t sell enough at the store to pay someone to run a cash register.”
  Tetzner jokes that one reason the honor system works so well is that they don’t advertise the store. Most customers are long term or word-of-mouth.
  “Most people are honest,” adds Tetzner. “We have city people drive up here because they love to stop by.”
  The on-farm store carries milk and ice cream produced on the farm, as well as cheese and other dairy products produced elsewhere. It is only one outlet for the milk produced by the farm’s 60+ cows. About half the milk goes to an NFO plant. The rest of the milk and ice cream is sold to stores in the area.
  “At one time we sold about 3/4 of our milk locally,” says Tetzner. “However, families are smaller, and people drink less milk.”
  Farm gate sales are nothing new for the family. They started a bottled milk delivery route in 1920 and also filled bottles for customers who stopped by the farm. A processing plant was built on the farm in 1976, followed by an ice cream machine in 1984.
  The latest technology that they’ve added doesn’t affect end products, but it does affect the Tetzners. They have installed a robotic milker.
  “It has made our quality of life so much better,” says Tetzner.
  She says that they could increase the herd size, given the demand for their product. “We like it where we are now,” she says. “We are at a point where we only have one non-family employee.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tetzner Dairy, 30455 Nevers Rd., Washburn, Wis. 54891 (ph 715 373-2330; jackie@tetznerdairy.com; www.tetznerdairy.com).

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2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4