Netherland natives Erwin and Theresia Lageschaar, along with their son, Mike, operate Lageschaar Dairy, a 600-acre farm in Pickton, Texas. As a child, Erwin says he dreamed of running his own operation. To gain experience, he worked on a dairy and hog farm in Holland. Theresia grew up on a dairy, but never thought she’d work on one. However, in 1990, the Lageschaars pursued Erwin’s dream and moved to the United States to find a dairy to call their own.
Total miles the Lageschaars traveled from the Netherlands to start their dairy. “We’d considered moving to Australia or New Zealand, but we didn’t have enoughmoney to build a dairy from the ground up,” Erwin says. “For the cost, East Texas was the best place for us to get started since we purchased a dairy from a retiring local producer. Most people from our country don’t move more than 25 miles away, but it was my dream, and we couldn’t be happier.”
Number of calves Theresia and another employee bottle feed. “Before our move, I worked as a nurse in a nursinghome,” Theresia says. “When we got here, I helped out anywhere I could, but I fell in love with the calves. I guess it’s in my bones, but I enjoy all the nursing stuff. I also oversee the farm’s artificial insemination program.”
Number of Holsteins and cross-bred Jerseys and Brown Swiss the Lageschaars milk. “When we first got started, we were milking around 350 head in a swing-eight parlor in seven to eight hours. With a vision to expand, we built a double-20 parlor in 2002 and increased our herd by 150,” Erwin says.
Pounds of feed the herd eats per day. “The cows get a total mixed ration of rye grass, silage, alfalfa, corn gluten, distiller grain and ground milo,” Erwin says. “This mixture ensures they get the proper amount of fiber, protein, energy and minerals in their daily diet.”