Wilson Centennial Farms honored by MSU

The head of the 2023 Michigan State University Dairy Farm of the Year says growth and diversification have helped his family’s centennial farm stay viable.

Fifth-generation farmer Brent Wilson tells Brownfield he remembers attending MSU in the late ‘60s when a professor said 30 dairy cows and 160 acres could be enough to live off.

“If I would have ever guessed that today we have 1,100 cows and over 5,000 acres, I would have said it’s unbelievable,” he shares.  “But the reason for that is you can make a living milking cows but it’s very difficult without hiring help.”

Wilson’s father attended a dairy short course at the land grant in the 1930s and many members have followed.

“My dad taught me to be diversified,” he says.  “Something will always do better around here.  We’re planning on surviving, we’re going to stay in the dairy business.”

The farm in Carson City has also been a longtime collaborator with MSU including participating in several research studies including Johne’s disease and bovine leukemia virus.

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