Dan and Gene Brick

Owned and managed by Dan Brick, the farm has been in operation as a dairy farm continuously since the mid 1800s. Five generations ago, Michael Brick immigrated from Ireland, determined to start a new life. In 1848, hearing about available farmland in Wisconsin, which had just been admitted to the Union as the thirtieth ‘state, Brick joined a handful of other Irishmen to search for land to buy. They negotiated a deal with Hoel Wright, founder of Wrightstown, who had received a grant of 500 acres from the U.S. government. The land was promising, but first it had to be cleared of trees, and homes had to be built. The Irishmen, called the settlement “Askeaton,” after their native town in Ireland. Michael and his wife began the Brick family homestead at 1734 Wayside Road. Their son John Brick was a successful farmer who passed the dairy farm to his son, Thomas. Thomas died at a young age, leaving his wife with their seven children, all under the age of12. Margaret (Hart) Brick rented the farm out for a period of time until Eugene, the oldest son (and Dan’s father), was old enough to operate it. After a two-year stint in the the army, Eugene and his wife Helen (Rademacher) took over operation of the 120 acre dairy farm in 1962, milking about 20 cows.

The barn and granary that were built by Dan’s great-grandfather in the early 1900s still are in use. Dan has greatly expanded the operation by increasing the cow population to 700, “In the past, there was more back labor, now it’s more office work,” said Dan, 35. Dan spends his time training employees, working with contractors, and watching the corn and crude oil markets.

The milk produced on the Brick farm is sold to Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a co-op of dairies that is based out of Missouri. The co-op handles 20 to 30 percent of the milk produced in America, selling most of it to cheese plants.