Viroqua, Wisconsin

Dream Hollow Dairy

Hi, I’m Zach Hansen and I co-own and operate Dream Hollow Dairy with my wife, Stephany, and our two sons, Ledger and Dekker. Dream Hollow Dairy is a small, organic dairy farm located south of Viroqua, Wis. We farm on 5.5 acres of land with about 31 cows. The name comes from the journey it took to finally get to where we are now. I’ve always been a dreamer and having a dairy farm of my own was always one of those dreams.

I am a proud 5th generation dairy farmer. It all started with my great, great grandfather, Elias Tryggestad, then on to my great grandpa, Willard Tryggestad, then to my grandpa, Loren Tryggestad, and eventually on to my parents, Laurie and David Hansen. I was born to be a dairy farmer! My parents ran a small farm owned by Loren and raised crops together with the land in between where my Grandpa Loren’s barn was.  My cousins and I mainly helped my grandpa with his daily operations, which was more hanging out with Grandpa and watching him do the work. I have fond memories of farming with Grandpa Loren and Grandma Carol, and they are a big reason of why I fell in love with it all.

This was just the beginning of my journey in dairy farming. My parents eventually sold their farm and then once my grandpa passed, we had to make the tough decision to sell his farm too. At this point, I was in high school. I knew this was something I wanted to continue doing so I started to help local farms and milk part time.

Then in the winter of 2005 I started farming with Paul Buhr, a well-known farmer in the community for his high-quality cows. I give a lot of thanks to him for where I am today; he taught me a lot more than just farming but becoming a responsible person and the knowledge of just everyday things and how to keep a farm operating. Paul was more of a father figure then a boss and I greatly appreciated that. He really influenced the way I think about it and gave me a good idea of how I would like to run my own farm.

We tried farming with a partner in 2016 but that didn’t pan out, so we left the farm for the time being but always in the back of our minds knew we wanted to someday dairy farm again.

Fast forward to 2021, Stephany and I purchased our farm back and in August of 2021 and we started sending our milk to Westby Creamery again.  We are thankful for the opportunity.

Raising a family on a farm with my wife has always been the goal. Growing up on a farm has taught me so many valuable life lessons but most importantly that milking cows is great family time out of the house working together, which also teaches an incredible work ethic you can’t get anywhere else. I hope that my sons will someday look back and appreciate what we have and the quality family time together like I often do with my parents, grandparents, brother, sisters and cousins.

During the start of our farm and still today I work off the farm full time and Stephany stays home with our boys and helps with the day-to-day tasks. I work for Bethel Home and Services as the Environmental Services Director. The love for the cows, land and the lifestyle outweigh the obstacles. We are truly blessed to live this life.

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