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Family farm thrives after changing focus

A combination of a tough dairy economy more than twenty years ago and location led a southern Wisconsin family to successfully change how they farm and what they produce.

Scott Skelly with Skelly’s Farm Store near Janesville, Wisconsin says what is now a fruit and vegetable farm with an on-site retail store had a very simple beginning selling sweet corn in the late 1980’s. “We started to sell it to the neighbors, and the next year was 16 rows, and then an acre and such. It started as a way for us to save money for college for my siblings and myself, and eventually turned it into the primary focus on what our farm does today.”

Skelly says their farm used to be a traditional crop and dairy farm until the early 90’s. “You know, the dairy market was tough to make a go of it, and we really just kind of had the interest in doing other things with the fruits and vegetables and decided to sell the cows and put all of our efforts into this.”

Skelly tells Brownfield their location also impacted their decision to move into fruits and vegetables. “We are right on the city limit, so it makes it a nice spot for folks to come and visit us, but not necessarily a great spot to have lots of animals. It could be done, but just really wasn’t what we were interested in, so it’s worked out quite well.”

Now, the family farm grows and sells strawberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, pumpkins, and squash as well as hosting family attractions including corn mazes in the fall.

Photo: Scott Skelly gives visitors a tour of fields at Skelly’s Farm Store near Janesville, WI

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