Bio: Gumz Family - Hosting Colby Dairy Breakfast (2022)

Transcriber: Stan

Surnames: Gumz, Tesch

----Source: Tribune/Phonograph (Abbotsford, Clark Co., Wis.) 22 Jun 2022

The Colby dairy breakfast will bring fun and education to the Colby area on June 26.

The breakfast will begin at 7 a.m. and run until noon (or until supplies run out) and will feature food from local farms.

Gumz Farms Inc. at 227715 County Road F in Colby will be hosting the event for the second time since 2018.

Susan, DuWayne, Dustin and Cody Gumz run the generational farm and said they are pretty hands off during the whole process of getting the farm ready for the event.

“It’s just up to us for whatever we want to do around the yard in getting it spruced up a bit,” Dustin said. “The FFA does a great job of getting volunteers for the day of and even beforehand, coordinating everything and the logistics of everything. It’s just up to us to have the facility.”

The breakfast will also feature one of Wisconsin’s mainstays in the dairy industry, Alice in Dairyland. Julie Nunes is the 73rd and 74th Alice in Dairyland and will be making an appearance during the early portion of the event. This will be Alice in Dairyland’s first appearance at the Colby dairy breakfast in her 74-year history.

Other activities available for kids and families are, face painting, a polka band, petting zoo, a bouncy house and more.

The event is being held by the Abby-Colby Crossings and Colby FFA alumni organization and its supporters. Cherokee Garage will be sponsoring the bouncy house. They and 120 other sponsors will be contributing to make the day a success. All of the profits from the breakfast will go towards the Colby FFA scholarship program. Colby FFA alumni and dairy breakfast coordinator Jeanie Tesch, said they look forward to not only feeding, but educating the public on June 26.

“The main reason we host a dairy breakfast is obviously for the good food,” Tesch said. “But there’s still the educational aspect of it. People need to see what a farm is and what it means to be on a farm. Kids need to be educated on how hard it is and what it takes to be a farmer.”

Ages five and under will be admitted for free and there will be a charge for patrons ages six and over.
The Gumz farm has been in the family since 1961. DuWayne’s father bought the farm and at that time, the property included 120 acres and 40 cows. DuWayne recalled that his dad paid around $26,000 for the land, buildings, animals, and equipment that came with it.

In 1976, DuWayne began the process of taking over the farm. The farm had expanded to 300-400 acres of farmland. He had three kids with his wife, Susan, and their son, Dustin is now the focal point of the work that is done on the Gumz farm.

Today, the Gumz families own 115 cows and crop over 2,000 acres between corn, beans, alfalfa, winter wheat and other crops.

Currently, DuWayne is transitioning the ownership of the farm to Dustin which will ensure the farm will stay in the family for the foreseeable future.

“I’m in the process of buying them out,” Dustin said. “I think it’s always an interest for all of us to keep it in the family but at the end of the day, it’s up to the next generation. It depends what their goals and inspirations and passions are whether or not they want to make this their career.”

Dustin, a 2003 graduate of Colby High School, said he knew at a relatively young age that he wanted to take over the farm from his dad some day.

“In high school and when I got older, I liked doing it. It was a great opportunity to keep the business going,” Dustin said.

Cody, also a 2003 graduate from Colby High School, said she didn’t grow up on a farm but that didn’t mean she didn’t find an affection for the farming lifestyle.

“Even though I didn’t grow up on a farm, I kind of grew up on my neighbor’s farm,” Cody said. “As far as really getting into it, there was certainly an adjustment. I do like it though.”

DuWayne said Susan wasn’t a farmer growing up either, but after a short adjustment period, she did very well with the lifestyle.

“[Susan] wasn’t on the farm either but she took it like a real trooper,” DuWayne said. “She did the hay cutting and working in the fields and jumped right in.”

Susan said starting out in farming was a challenge because of the financial strain it placed on her and DuWayne.

“The farms weren’t expensive. The interest rates were high,” Susan said. “In 1980, it was like 12 percent interest to buy a farm. We didn’t have anything when we started out so his dad decided that he would sell this farm and we would incorporate it.” At that point, every dollar DuWayne and Susan made went back into maintaining and adding on to the farm.

During the transitions from Du-Wayne’s father to him and now to Dustin, there never really were any issues with the changing of hands because they were raised on that same farm and the work came pretty naturally to them.

“We get along well and work well together,” Cody said. Cody and Dustin have three kids ages 11, nine and seven that will look to carry on the tradition of keeping the Gumz farm in the family.

Tesch said she is still looking for volunteers for the event. If you wish to help out, you can contact Jeanie at 715-223-5182.

“AbbyColby Crossings, the Colby FFA alumni, and supporters are grateful to the Gumz [families] for hosting this event and to the community for their support year in and year out,” Tesch said.



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