Delivering the highest quality dairy products since 1946

Despite unfavorable weather, our Cropping team, along with help from our custom harvester, Nemetz Neshota Ridge, had a successful harvest.

Harvest 2020

Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, LLC


Acres Harvested: 8,044 – As Fed Tons: 20,241

Corn Silage

Acres Harvested: 4,176 – As Fed Tons: 66,535

Dairy Dreams, LLC


Acres Harvested: 8,231 – As Fed Tons: 18,686

Corn Silage

Acres Harvested: 2,285 – As Fed Tons: 37,937

Coleman Ponderosa, LLC


Acres Harvested: 1,780 – As Fed Tons: 5,570

Corn Silage

Acres Harvested: 487 – As Fed Tons: 7,752

We chop corn silage using a harvester. Once the wagon is filled, it’s transported back to our farm.

As we head into harvest season, we are grateful for the patience of our neighbors and community. Because of your patience on the road, our team can arrive home to their families at the end of a long day.

Here are a few tips that you can use to help keep our drivers safe, along with what we’re doing to keep the roadways accident-free for both of us.

Here’s how you can practice safe-driving during harvest:

  1. Add extra time to your commute. If you travel on a county high-way or country road, most likely you’ll end up behind an implement this fall. Until it is safe (and legal) to pass, keep a respectable following distance.
  2. Pass legally. Even if the farmer/operator waves you on to pass, it is illegal to pass farm equipment in a no-passing zone…no matter how slow they’re going.
  3. Pass safely. Before passing an implement, survey the area. Did you check for turn signals? If the operator will be turning soon, it is not safe to pass. Also, ensure that the road is wide enough for you to pass and there are no obstacles (bridges, mailboxes, road signs, etc).
  4. Avoid unnecessary distractions. Always keep your eyes on the road. If you need to talk on your cell phone, use a hands-free device. Wondering what to do if you can’t scroll through your phone or text? Check out some of these great podcasts to learn more agriculture and farming!

Here is what we as farmers do to keep you and us safe:

  1. We do our best to avoid moving equipment at sunset or sunrise. Our field crews put in long hours during harvest, but we try to do the bulk of our transport during hours of high visibility. However, as the old adage goes, we do have to “make (or chop) hay (and corn) while the sun shines.
  2. We use the “slow-moving” emblems. 

    Photo courtesy of Farm Bureau Insurance.

    All of our tractors and implements are outfitted with “slow-moving”, reflective triangles. If you see one of our implements on the road without this sign, please call the office at 920-388-3333.

  3. We stay alert! We respect that we share the road with motorist, you’ve got families to get home to, too! If we notice a train behind us, and there is no availability to pass on the left, we’ll pull over (using the appropriate signals) to allow the vehicles to pass.

Together, we can keep our roads safe this harvest season!

Pagel Family Recipes- Auntie Pie Dough

There’s nothing more American than apple pie. As you celebrate the 4th of July, try our family pie dough recipe! Do you top your apple pie with cheddar cheese or ice cream? Either way, look for the Proudly Wisconsin Dairy ™ or Proudly Wisconsin Cheese Badge on your dairy and cheese products!

From Grandma Garnet’s kitchen. Grandma Garnet is the paternal grandmother of Jamie, JJ, and Bryan Pagel, co-owners of the Pagel Family Businesses.

5 cups flour

2 cups lard or (1 cup lard and 1 cup Crisco)

2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

Beat 1 egg, and add in ½ cup water. (I put lemon juice with water)

Mix all ingredients until a dough forms.

Grandam Garnet’s Cheese Casserole

Grandma Garnet's Cheese Casserole

From Grandma Garnet’s kitchen. Grandma Garnet is the paternal grandmother of Jamie, JJ, and Bryan Pagel, co-Owners of the Pagel Family Businesses.

8 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese (We recommend Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese, LLC 1 year cheddar.)

8 slices of bread, buttered (Look for the Proudly Wisconsin Dairy ™ badge.)

3 or 4 eggs

2 cups of milk (Look for the Proudly Wisconsin Dairy ™ badge.)

½ tp salt

1 tsp dry mustard


In a casserole dish, put a layer of bread and cheese. Repeat.

Beat eggs, milk, salt, pepper, mustard. Pour mixture over bread and cheese. Chill one hour or overnight.

Bake 350 degrees for 35 minutes.


Use the fleshy part below the thumb to test the doneness of your steak.

May is National Beef Month! What better way to celebrate than with a juicy Ponderosa Farmstead Steak? Read more to find out how to grill the perfect steak.

Rare: Bring your thumb to your pointer finger.  The flesh area, right below your thumb should feel a little firmer than it would if your hand was laying flat.

Medium Rare: Move your thumb so it touches the middle finger. You will notice the fleshy area, below the thumb, is tensed but still has some plumpness.

Medium: Move your thumb so that the tip of your thumb touches your ring finger. As you touch the area below the thumb, there won’t be a lot of “give”. The area will feel tight.

Well Done: Bring your thumb all the way to your pinky. The area below the thumb will be firm.

Using the “hand-test” is recommended by chefs because you do not puncture or cut into the meat, letting out its juices. The juices provide flavor and keep the meat moist.

At the Ponderosa, we prefer our steaks medium-rare. However, we must warn you that “consuming raw or undercooked meats may increase your risk of foodborne illness.”

Are you looking to fill your freezer with farm-fresh, Ponderosa Farmstead, limousin beef? To order a quarter or half, contact Bryan at 388-1051.

Play “WI ScAGvenger Hunt”!

Click here to play!

Prize pack includes:

  1. Coloring book
  2. Crayons
  3. Pencil
  4. Cheese eraser
  5. Punch ballon
  6. Bookmark.

Recommended for ages 5-11. Parent or adult assistance may be needed. Prize packs will be sent out the 1st week of May.

Jamie Pagel Witcpalek | Co-owner Pagel Family Businesses

Jamie Pagel Witcpalek, co-owner of Pagel Family Businesses. Photo courtesy of The Country Today.

“Caring Through a Crisis” 

Written by: Jamie Pagel Witcpalek

The true strength of a community is demonstrated by the support we lend to one another, in good times and bad.  Based on my family’s personal experience, we were surrounded by kind words, prayers, food, and friendship during the most difficult time of our lives. Now, during this difficult time in our community, we want to reciprocate the support we received and show appreciation. Our program, “Meating the Need”, enables us to donate beef and cheese to our local food pantry and schools. We also applaud Carlton Hunting and Fishing Club, Kewaunee FFA Alumni, Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Board and many others for their contributions.

We love the community we live in and will do whatever we can to take care of it! This pandemic will have an effect on all of us.  Personally and professionally we are greatly impacted, and struggle to see the good.  It’s hard to always be positive so let’s look to each other for patience and courage to make it another day, hoping for a better tomorrow.  We can’t predict the future, but one thing we can do is stick together, while we “stay 6 feet apart”?.

Dr. Niles has been a featured speaker, both nationally and internationally on topics relating to proper cow care, in particular, maternity care on modern dairy farms. With a diverse professional background, Dr. Niles is currently the Operations Manager for the Pagel Family Businesses, overseeing two Kewaunee county dairies, Dairy Dreams, LLC and Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, LLC. Dr. Niles serves as president of Peninsula Pride Farms, a farmer lead environmental stewardship organization in Kewaunee and southern Door Counties. He participates in the following organizations: AVMA; AABP; DCWC; DBA and NMC.

The standards, practices, and norms of modern dairy treatment practices bear almost no similarity to the practices that I encountered upon leaving veterinary school and starting dairy practice in 1982. Basically, everything has changed, most for the better. In 1982, the largest herd I serviced had 80 cows. Today, that could be the hospital pen in a 5,000-cow dairy. Early on, most antibiotic treatments were actually administered by the veterinarian. On many dairies today, that is a rare exception. Treatment protocols existed mainly in the practitioner’s head and could vary day to day for a variety of reasons. Written record systems, when used at all, were often no more sophisticated than an index card stuck in the cow trainer above the patient. There were several major disrupters that changed these norms over time. Dairies modernized and expanded. As a consequence, it was not practical for individual treatments to be administered by a veterinarian. At the same time, the training, focus, and skill sets of herd and hospital managers allowed these treatments to be done with proper discipline without immediate veterinarian supervision. Regulatory changes, such as the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act (AMDUCA), focused a much brighter light on the legal limitations and responsibilities of veterinarians, as well as better defining the veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR). No longer could veterinarians design treatments “on the fly.” Equally important, society changed around us. The 1% of the US population that still farms lost touch with the 99% who do not. The 99% want to know how animals are treated, why they are treated, and how their families can be protected from impurities in their food supply. None of this was on my veterinary radar in 1982.

Basic Principles of Designing a Treatment System

The bedrock principle of designing a treatment system for implementation on a large modern dairy starts with clearly designating the exact individuals who will be implementing any treatments. This obviously includes the veterinarian with the VCPR for the herd. As mandated by AMDUCA, this is the
only person who can design treatment protocols for prescription medications for use on the farm. This also includes not only the fresh cow and hospital managers, but all the other people who might be involved in administering antibiotics, identifying animals to be treated, recording treatments and observing restrictions, such as meat and milk withholding. All of these individuals will need some amount of training. If the dairy can’t identify who all these individuals are, that is where the herd veterinarian needs to start. The next step in the process is to collect all individuals who have any responsibility for making treatment decisions, in order to agree on a finite list of diseases and treatments that will be confronted by the treatment team. It didn’t seem like it on the day I received my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, but there is actually a very small number of disease conditions of interest to a dairy treatment crew. The group needs to start out by making this list. Leadership by the veterinarian
is important here. Once the disease entities of concern are identified, a list of approved treatment protocols for each disease is the next step. The veterinarian obviously has a crucial role here. Treatments need to be legal, appropriate, and within the skill sets of the treatment crews. Once again, there may
be several different treatment protocols approved, such as a primary and secondary intramammary treatment tube. For each, the dose, duration of treatment, and appropriate withhold times need to be established. This meeting should be in the form of a discussion, so that any legitimate ideas can be discussed. However, at the end of the day, no treatments can be conducted on the dairy that is not established on this list. Once a treatment protocol has been assigned, it is automatically established as to what follow-up treatments are scheduled, what day the cow is to be reexamined, and what day it will be tested for drug residues. This even carries out to meat residues. The day the protocol is assigned to a cow, we already know what its meat withhold clear date will be. The disease and treatment lists should be reviewed occasionally and updated as treatment options are added or removed. The bedrock principle has to be that no treatments can be administered that differ from the established treatment protocols in drug type, dose, duration or withhold. No “cowside” modifications are permitted. One final point on
the treatment protocol table; it is a very good idea for the veterinarian of record to conduct an occasional audit done by another veterinarian. The second veterinarian could be a partner, pharmaceutical tech service or even a neighboring practitioner. This can often identify a minor protocol breach that has unintentionally crept into the system.

Implementing the Program

Once all the written protocols are established and agreed to, the details of practical implementation need to be established. How does the treater know that he or she is treating the right cow? If the hospital pen is loaded on a carousel to be treated in between shifts, there could be significant time pressure to get treatments done. The treater needs to know with 100% accuracy which teat is to be treated with which
medication, which udder needs to be checked for treatment response, which needs to be sampled for residues. An error here can be catastrophic. In our herds, we use a DC305 treatment list that shows all treatments and checks planned for that day in the hospital pen. As the technician identifies a cow, the list will immediately tell him what action is necessary. I also strongly recommend an automated system of physical ID. On our parallel parlor, we scan the cows in for treatment as they load into the parlor and immediately resort the hospital list to show cows in the order in which they are standing. In the rotary parlor, we put leg bands with an RFID tag attached on the back legs of cows entering the hospital. These tags are scanned from behind the cow, so the treated knows what action to take. We find this far safer than a visual identification by a human. As cows prepare to be moved out of the hospital pen, they must be tested for antibiotic residues. The purpose here is not to double check the established withhold times
determined when a drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Instead, this is our final protection against releasing a cow that has been accidentally treated outside its intended protocol. Finally, a cow’s meat hold date is also established the moment the treatment protocol is entered into the computer. That date stays with the cow record. As we make a list of beef cows to be sent to slaughter on a given day, our list automatically includes her meat withhold date. That gives us one final check to make sure a cow is not being sent too soon.


The transformation in the dairy industry from small farms with hands-on treatments delivered by the veterinarian, to large herds with dedicated treatment teams would seem like a recipe for residue disaster. Instead, when training protocols and procedures are in place, we can end up with a system that is actually safer and more disciplined than the traditional model. There is both a serious responsibility on
the veterinarian’s shoulders in such a program, as well as a tremendous opportunity to provide value and leadership to a key client.

-Dr. Niles

Madison, Wis (March 5, 2019)- Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, LLC, Kewaunee dairy farm and farmstead cheese producer, received a bronze medal for their Farmstead Cheese Curds at the World Championship Cheese Contest. The contest was held March 3-5 at Monona Terrace in Madison, WI.

“We are very excited and humbled by our ranking,” said Ben Shibler, cheese operations manager. “It really is a collaborative effort, from our small cheese production team to our cows’ quality milk.

Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, LLC has received World Championship medals in the past with their snack-cheese brand, Ponderosa Farmstead. However, this is the first accolade they’ve received for their cheese curds.

The award-winning, farmstead cheese curds were crafted by the Ponderosa Farmstead team at their on-site farm production facility. To be classified as a farmstead, cheese needs to be produced on-farm using milk from the dairy herd. The on-farm production facility is housed on their farm, Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, LLC – Wisconsin’s largest family-owned and operated dairy farm.

“This award puts our farmstead products in the global spotlight, opening doors for the growth of our brand,” states Shibler. “I am very excited for the future of Ponderosa Farmstead!”

Award-winning, Ponderosa Farmstead Cheese Curds, can be found at Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese, LLC in Luxemburg, Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, LLC on-farm, general store and online at