The Zinniker Family Farm was established in 1943 by Max and Mathilde Zinniker. Starting out with only 10 cows, a few chickens and horses to work the fields, over the next few decades the farm grew into what it is today.
Today the Zinniker farm is farmed by Mark and Petra Zinniker and Mark's parents Richard and Ruth. There are 165 acres to the Zinniker farm with 120 acres tillable land, 10 acres of woods and the remaining in permanent pastures.
The farm has a herd of 30 Holstein dairy cows, a breeding bull, approx. 20 head of young stock of varying ages and 220-250 free range laying hens.
The farm produces hay (alfalfa), corn, oats, wheat, barley and field peas. All crops are harvested to feed the animals on the farm. Occasionally some hay has to be bought. During the growing season the cows are rotationally grazed on hayfields and permanent pastures. The free range chickens have access to nearby hayfields. In the winter the cows have a diet of Hay, some corn silage and grain (ground ear corn and oats with a mineral supplement).
From the very beginning the farm has been worked biodynamically, a particular way of organic farming, based on the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. This methods focus on the farm being a whole organism, in which the farmer takes on the role of guiding the circle of fertility, in which the animals provide manure for the compost to fertilize the crops grown on the land, that in return feed the people and animals of the farm.The farm is also considered as part of a bigger cosmic whole, that influences the way things grow and relate to each other. Herbal and mineral preparations are used in the process of making compost, on the land and crops to bring these cosmic influences to the plants, animals and food.
Since 2000 the farm has been certified organic by Oregon Tilth (OTCO) and shipped milk to Organic Valley. Since the mid-1980's the farm has been supplying consumers with fresh raw milk through a Cow Ownership Program. The program has since grown in size and provides members also with eggs, raw honey from the farm, beef and handmade milk-based soaps.
Contact: Mark or Petra Zinniker
Best time to call: 8-9:30am; 2pm; evenings before 9pm.
Zinniker Family Farm
N7399 Bowers Rd
Elkhorn, WI 53121