PLEASE EXCUSE OUR DUST AS WE ARE UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!!
The farm began in 1946 when Norman Meissner and wife Elaine were married and purchased the original 160 acres where Norm-E-Lane dairy is located today. Norman and Elaine began with 18 cows and a team of horses for the field work. Over the next several years, much land was cleared and the farm began to grow. Norm and Elaine raised 4 sons and 2 daughters, of which sons Jerrold and David, along with Jerrold’s son Joshua and David’s son Jeremy, currently own and operate the dairy today.
In 1964 a barn fire destroyed the existing 50 stall cow barn, so a new 80 stall tie-stall barn with a double-8 milking parlor was immediately constructed. Cattle numbers continued to grow and new land was gradually acquired. Upon high school graduation in 1972, Jerrold (Diane) joined his parents and siblings on the farm after a brief college experience at U.W. Madison. In 1974 a new 420 cow state-of-the-art freestall barn was constructed, which brought about more land acquisitions in the 70’s and 80’s. Youngstock facilities also continued to grow along with the increased cattle numbers. The farm was totally self-sufficient, as all youngstock and all feed for the cattle was raised by the family. David (Tammy) joined the farm full time in 1980 after high school and by this time the farm was a very close-knit family operation.
Norm-E-Lane continued to grow to full capacity by the mid-80’s and maintained a 400 cow average for the next decade and a half. But as generation 3 started coming up through the ranks, so did the need arise to update facilities and grow the business. Joshua (Sheri) attended the University and Wisconsin–LaCrosse and graduated in 1998 with a bachelor degree in Business Management and immediately joined his dad and uncle on the farm. At this time, talk had already begun to expand the operation. So, in the spring of 2000, construction began, and by September the new double-25 parlor and 2,500-cow freestall barns were up and running. Cow numbers grew quickly with the purchase of mature cows and pregnant heifers, and youngstock facilities also continued to grow. 2001 saw construction of another 400 stall barn which grew the dairy to 1500 cows by 2003. In 2005, Jeremy (Lindsay) joined the operation after graduating from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls with a bachelor’s degree in Dairy Science. 2007 saw the next big expansion as 2 more barns were built, one a 450 stall freestall barn and the other a transition facility and maternity barn. The methane digester was also built and installed. 2009 finished with another 450 stall barn, which has since completed our facility updates and has taken the milking parlor to full capacity.
Today, the dairy consists of 2400 milk cows and more than 2100 head of dairy replacement heifers. Crops are raised on 5200 acres of land, of which all forage and corn is grown. Cows are housed in open free-stall barns that were built for maximum cow comfort and health. Cows are milked 3 times each day and milk is shipped to Nasonville Dairy, the local cheese plant. The milking system is totally computerized, as every cow’s milk weights and quality is recorded and stored to ensure maximum cow health and milk quality. The methane digester has enabled us to not only turn our manure into green energy, but also greatly reduce our carbon footprint while improving manure handling efficiencies, ultimately building on our interests in being good environmental stewards. Along with family members, Norm-E-Lane is operated by 32 full-time employees who cover all areas including milking, cattle care and management, youngstock raising, cropping and equipment work and maintanence. Norm-E-Lane continues to be a progressive dairy operation, focusing on the health, well-being and sustainability of our cattle, environment and people.