2021 Summer Tour
June 26, 2021 · Madison Area
WCA is excited to host the 2021 Summer Tour in the Madison area on June 26, 2021. Please plan to arrive between 9:45 - 10:00 AM, and look for the parking signs near the large cement silo. Light refreshments will be offered.
Driving DirectionsMapping apps may have a hard time with this address, and some use a Reeseville, WI zip code instead of Columbus.Head east of Columbus on Hwy 16, and turn right (south) on County Road BB. The farm is on the left-hand (east) side after crossing railroad tracks.
Roche Grain & Cattle Farm
Roche Grain & Cattle Farm is a diversified farming operation located near Columbus, Wis. The farm began operations in 1852 and is now on its 5th generation of Roche’s. The farm is currently operated by brothers Kevin, Dennis, David, and their wives Tracy, Amy, and Jacki. Today, the farming operation has grown to encompass a 1,300 head feedlot, 3,760-acre grain operation, 445,000-bushel grain drying facility, and a composting operation. The farm produces corn, soybeans, wheat, rye seed, and tri-cal/rye forage. After harvest, all fields are planted to a cover crop. The Roche’s are active in Dodge County Farmer’s for Healthy Soil and Water, with a keen focus on sustainability. The feedlot operation finishes groups of Holstein steers, dairy beef crosses, along with native steers and heifers. Cattle arrive at weights between 475-700 pounds and are fed for 150-320 days, with a target market weight of 1,400 pounds. All pens of cattle are tracked for dry matter intake per day, daily gain, and profit per animal. Cattle are housed in both bedded mono slope and slatted floor barns, and waste from the bedded barns is handled by the composting operation. The feedlot utilizes feedstuffs from the cropping operation, including tri-cal/rye forage, corn silage, corn fines, and distillers.
Johnson's Sausage Shoppe
Johnson’s Sausage Shoppe, founded by Chris Johnson, started in business in 1996. What started out as a local deer processing facility in a small building quickly grew, and soon began processing beef based on local requests. As the business has grown, the building has been remodeled to add additional processing capacity and retail space. Today, Johnson’s Sausage Shoppe processes about 40 head of beef per week, and 50-70 hogs per month. Johnson’s offers custom processing, private labeling of beef, and retail sales of meat, cheese, and spirits. At this stop, Jeff Swenson (Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection) will provide an update on the state of local beef processing in Wisconsin, as well as direct marketing of beef.
Marda Angus Farms
The foundation of the Marda Angus Farms herd began in 1940 when Dave Quam bought his first Angus female to start his 4-H project. The goals of the operation have been consistent for the past eight decades – strive to raise cattle that meet the needs of commercial cattlemen as well as purebred producers throughout the nation. By staying true to the goal, and not chasing fads that come and go, Marda Angus Farms has been able to raise cattle that have withstood and survived trying times. After four generations, Marda Angus Farms has transformed through many different changes and remodels, but the one constant has been their breeding program. The Marda Angus Farms breeding program is based off sound economic principles that drive the cattle industry, which is evident in the many cow families found at Marda Angus Farms today that date back to the herd’s original foundation females. Today, Marda Angus Farms runs 170 purebred Angus cows, along with 900 acres of crop ground. The Quam family markets their Angus cattle throughout the country, participating in the Midland Bull Test, National Angus Bull Sale, and hosts an annual production sale in the fall.