Welcome to Heritage Hill Farm
Hello, my name is Beth Wells-Leis. I am the primary operator of Heritage Hill Farm while my husband, Gabe, travels for work across the country working on large boiler systems in power plants. Like the five generations before me, I am carrying on the farming legacy.
I am always asked what it’s like to be a woman as the primary operator. For the most part, I do not feel like my struggles are any different than my male counterparts. Farming is quite laborious and it isn’t easy for any one person. Most of our facilities are strategically set up in a way that allows one person to maintain the physical labor. However, it is most definitely a challenge finding a balance between parenting and keeping up with the farm while my husband is away at work, but that has never slowed me down.
Though it is becoming more and more common, being a woman and the primary operator is something I am very proud of. I grew up farming with my mother who was also a full-time farmer, so I have a strong role model to go to for advice or guidance. I have established several relationships with other women in agriculture and it’s great to be able to connect with such strong, driven women who share the same ideas.
I have always been intrigued by the hard – but rewarding – work that goes into farming. I had a strong and supportive group of friends who were also interested in agriculture and our passion continued to grow through each other throughout the years. To this day, we still connect regularly for support or to bounce ideas off each other.
Our farm has been up and running since 2012. We were drawn to this farm when a different family had been retiring from the dairy industry. They wanted to sell to a responsible and dedicated family that would continue growing the beautiful farm they had maintained for so long.
My husband and I decided to buy the farm and begin our lives here. We now have four children, Maddie, Addison, Hadyn and Gage, who all help with the daily operations of the farm and have found their own passion in agriculture. They are involved in several 4H projects, including raising sheep and beef cattle.
We decided to name our farm Heritage Hill. It sits on land that has three ridges that overlook the farms our families grew up on. From the view, we can see the farm where my mother grew up, another where my dad grew up, where I grew up, and where my husband grew up as well. It is nice to look back on where we came from, literally, as we continue the family legacy.
Heritage Hill farm consists of roughly 180 acres just outside of Sparta, Wisconsin. Here on our farm, we maintain a milking herd of 45 registered Holsteins. Our woodland pastures seasonally graze 20 cow/calf pairs. Along with our dairy operations, we run a flock of 35 Wether-Style Ewes and lambs are sold yearly as 4H projects and through direct market meat sales.
Just down the road, young-stock and beef are housed year-round at my parents’ farm. Their farm is our primary source for harvested forages. Along with our children, my parents play a vital role on the farm, as they help tend to the livestock and crops. It truly is a family of farms.
We are in the process of building our very own farm store where we will sell our beef and lamb as well as our delicious Westby cheese curds. Additionally, you can find us at the Sparta farmers market on Saturdays. If you are in the area, stop on over! We would love to show you around and put some delicious, locally-sourced food on your table.