- The Last Dairy Farm in Festus
- By HIROKO MASUIKE
- The 61st Missouri Photo Workshop / Festus & Crystal City, Mo.
In the last two years, four of the eight dairy farms in Jefferson County, Missouri, went out of business. Fricke Dairy Farm, owned and run by 55-year-old Paul Fricke, is the last dairy farm left in Festus.
Ernst Fricke, Paul’s father, opened the dairy farm in the late 1930s after emigrating from Germany, but closed it in 1969. After working as an engineer, Paul pursued his dream and reopened the farm in 1992. Together with his 24-year-old son Brian and the support of his wife Eileen, who has a career outside the farm, they are working hard to keep it open during tough economic times and falling milk prices.
Paul starts working around 7:30 am for the first milking. Milking is done twice a day, 365 days. They have 60 cows and a few chickens and some goats and grow corn and barley row crops.
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