A former World Dairy Expo president and well-known local farmer is moving on to the next chapter of his life after this weekend.
Mike Holschbach owns the Heatherstone Enterprises farm off U.S. Highway 12 in Baraboo, which he called the welcome mat of Baraboo.
He said after spending his entire life raising cattle and working on a farm, he’s ready to retire and move on with the next phase of his life.
“I’ve been involved with cattle for as long as I can remember,” Holschbach said. “For decades, it’s been up before 3 o’clock in the morning and milking cows and caring for them until 7 at night.”
Holschbach said he’s sold cattle and dairy products to farmers from more than 30 countries around the world. On top of being well-known, he’s also well-decorated and has no shortage of awards lining the halls that lead to his barn.
His farm also has a lot of family history.
“My in-laws came here in 1961, and they operated the farm till about 1984, when we bought it,” Holschbach said.
He has been operating the farm with his wife and kids for decades, but the next few days will be Holschbach’s last opportunity to spend with the cattle who have become part of his family.
“I’ve tried to prevent myself from even thinking about it,” he said. “Empty. I think that is going to be the word of the day for a while. It’s just going to be an empty feeling.”
Holschbach said he named all 230 of his cattle, which will make cutting ties with them so difficult this weekend.
“There’s an emotional tie. There is no question,” he said. “It’s like being part of a family. It’s like seeing your daughter go off to college.”
After years of caring for these cattle, his last hope is that the next owners love them as much as he does.
“That’s the way I would like to leave a legacy, is for our cattle to go to the next farm and be profitable and make those people happy that they came and purchased our cattle,” he said.
For more information on Holschbach’s cattle sale this weekend, you can browse the site here.