Thanksgiving Reflections

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have a lot to be grateful for. However, I am especially thankful that I was born and raised on a beautiful, fifth-generation, grass-based dairy farm that, along with other farms, produces the wholesome food everyone across the country will be consuming on Thanksgiving Day. Working in the rain, snow, heat, and cold, farmers do hundreds of “thankless” jobs which include milking, scraping, maintaining a healthy herd, repairs, loads of paperwork and much more. Working one of the most dangerous occupations every single day does not lessen one’s compassion, in fact, it strengthens it. It takes a special, yet talented person to be able to work past the obstacles of farming. A farmer’s shirt may be covered in dirt and their hands may be wrinkled and rough, but trust me, they have the biggest hearts. For their herd, for their employees, and for their families. My uncle, Karl Klessig, and my father, Robert Klessig, are the owners and operators of Saxon Homestead Farm. I would just like to give thanks to both of them for simply being the best teachers with a hands-on approach. Learning about our cows and their genetics, the diseases that can affect our herd, the safe treatment of each animal, and most importantly, the circle of life.

Karl and Robert Klessig with the herd in front of our farm. Photo courtesy of Hoard’s Dairyman.

Growing up, I’ve learned that the best television channel is the Weather Channel. After a long day’s work, I can always find my dad sitting in his recliner with his best bud, Hank, our Labrador Retriever, watching the weather, hoping that the next day’s weather will be in his favor. After a prolonged 2019 harvest because of relentless rain events, I’ve learned that nothing in life will be handed to you, including a good crop yield and a fast harvest. This year, we found ourselves in one of the wettest falls in history. Fortunately, here at Saxon Homestead, we were able to harvest a tremendous crop of corn silage between heavy rains. Not only has this been a challenging year on our pastures, but also for our hay and corn harvest. Many farmers across the state continue to struggle. We feel very fortunate to have successfully completed our corn harvest, and we would like to acknowledge the work of our employees and Eisentraut Ag. Service for a timely and efficient harvest. In addition to the harvest, we also feel grateful that our farm and herd are prepared for winter, as our pasture water systems have been drained and all of our barns are secure and winterized. Additionally, the majority of Saxon cows are confirmed pregnant, so we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our first calves in early March.

My uncle and father have faced many challenges and setbacks throughout the years, yet, those are the things that have motivated them to try harder and create new opportunities for our business. Through it all, they have remained grateful and optimistic. Like my Grandpa Eddie Klessig always said, “When one door closes, 10 more open up.” From everyone at Saxon Homestead Farm, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving. As you’re preparing your Thanksgiving meal, remember to thank a farmer.

This blog post was written by Emma Klessig, 17-year-old sixth-generation Klessig dairy farmer

Emma Klessig delivering twin bull calves in June 2019.

2019 Barn Dance Success!

The 10th annual Barn Dance Fundraiser was a hit! With 175 people in attendance, the event raised about $13,000 for the non-profit organization, Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership.

Watch the video below to see how barn dance attendees kicked up their heels and rocked the dance floor while our very own Justin Palm (Valerie Klessig’s husband) played with the band, Reckless Remedy! Wow, can you feel the energy in that barn!

We hope you can join us for future barn dances. We can assure you, it will be a night to remember!

2017 Super Cub Fly In on the farm

We had a wonderful time hosting folks from the 2017 New Holstein Super Cub Fly In this past weekend! Thank you to all the pilots, their families and friends, and to our community members for visiting our farm! It was an honor to host you all. Our 97-year-old grandmother, Margret, the farm matriarch, especially enjoyed watching the planes land in our pastures. Maybe by next year’s fly in Robert Klessig will have made those bumper stickers that say, “Real pilots have cow manure on their wheels”!

Maple Flapjack Brunch

Margret Klessig, the farm matriarch, enjoys her pancakes alongside Fred and Young Sun Klessig.

On Sunday, March 23, 2014 we hosted our first Maple Flapjack Brunch, a fundraiser for the Cleveland Firefighters. Guests came to the Heritage Barn on our farm to enjoy homemade pancakes, maple sausage links, milk, hot apple cider, coffee and pure maple syrup made on the homestead! Many guests took a walk down to the sugar shack to see the maple syrup make process and try fresh hot maple syrup! As this was our first time hosting a maple flapjack brunch, we expected about 300 people. We were pleasantly surprised when the final numbers came in after all was said and done: We hosted about 600 people and served brunch to 473. Our guests ate 1090 flapjacks, 1440 maple links, 4.5 gallons of maple syrup, and 14 gallons of apple cider.  We are excited to be better prepared next year! Check out our detailed flyer for more information about the event.