A Deer Park Farm

St. Croix County's Farm-City Day was hosted in 2010 at the Croes Farm, just west of Deer Park 1 mile. The special day attracted over 3,000 people, probably the largest turn-out of any event in the Deer Park area in years. The day was warm and sunny, the heavy rains had let up but the fields were still flooded so shuttle bus service provided by the New Richmond School District ferried people from the parking lots at the Saint Croix County shops to the farm about 2 miles away. The video is 5 minutes and 35 seconds long.


City relatives from Minnesota and Indiana take their kids for a visit to the Jerry and Char Croes Farm just outside of Deer Park in May 2004.

Jerry Croes

Kids and CowsCows may look small when passing by on the highway and smaller yet from an airplane, but these youngsters are finding out that they aren't so small at all, weighing in at around 1,400 pounds.

The Deer Park area is in the heart of dairy country with a cow population of about 50 per square mile, more than people. The dairy industry is big in Saint Croix and neighboring Polk County but is almost non-existent in the northern part of the state. Further north yet, west of the Thunder Bay, Ontario metro area, there is yet another robust dairy farming region serving that area.

Most milk produced in the Deer Park area will make it's way towards Twin Cities metro area markets.

So what is the outlook for the Jerry and Char Croes farm and others in the area? After years of declining milk prices and production, prices are now on the rebound. Reduced herd sizes and production have had their effect causing higher prices. And milk is now coming into favor as a low-carb food.


Holstein-Friesian cattle, usually called Holsteins, are identified by their black-and-white coats. Some Holsteins are nearly all black or all white. A few are red and white.

Holsteins are the largest dairy cattle. They have broad hips and long, deep barrels, or body trunks. Their horns slant forward, but curve inward.

There are more Holsteins in the United States than any other dairy breed. Many farmers favor them because a Holstein cow produces more milk than other breeds. However, their milk contains less butterfat than that of other breeds.

Holsteins probably were developed from a strain of black-and-white cattle found in the province of Friesland in the Netherlands. Cattle raisers of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany also helped develop the breed.

Holsteins were brought to the United States in 1795. They are now raised in every state. Holsteins are also popular in Canada. The Holstein-Friesian Association of America has headquarters in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Cows watching kids
The cows know strangers are on their farm but they figure it is safe to take a drink. While the reaction of youngsters might be amusing, this herd is obviously used to youngsters. Livestock that are taken care of by adult farmers only are very skidish around young people.

A few items about dairy cows that might not be noted in books:

  • Many farmers give their cows a name besides a number.
  • They all have different personalities.
  • Some are easy to work with, others are not.
  • Some cows are clean, others are dirty.
  • Some cows like certain people and dislike other people.
  • Cows have rights, just like people.



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May 2004