Our History

Vlietstra Dairy farm was started at it’s current location in 1917 by Henry Vlietstra, a Dutch immigrant. His wife, Elizabeth is credited for encouraging him to buy the land.

Henry Vlietstra delivering milk with his horse .

Henry Vlietstra delivering milk with his horse .

His son, Fred joined him in the late  1930’s and built the big round barn you see from the road with our name on it.

image2-1

grandpagrandmav

Fred Sr. and Ada Vlietstra, 1998

In the mid seventies, Fred Sr. retired (though he remained active on the farm until he passed away in 1999) and his three sons David, Marvin and Fred Jr. took over.

theguys

Marvin, Fred Jr. and David

Almost all of Fred Sr.’s grandchildren have worked on the farm growing up or still work on the farm currently. Now some of his great-grandchildren are also on the farm.

img_2731

Esther Vlietstra (sister of David, Fred and Marvin) has done bookkeeping and secretarial work for the farm for several years.

In the late nineties, Marvin’s son Fred H. became a partner, David retired, and we are now working on some more transition as Marvin and Fred Jr. are also getting closer to retirement.  Fred Jr.’s son Dan works full-time on the farm and is looking forward to being a partner and his younger brothers are showing an interest as well.

img_3287

Fred Jr. and his son Dan

img_5383

For Vlietstra kids, It’s never too early for your first tractor ride! Perhaps Dan’s son will become one of our 5th generation farmers someday?

For more history, you can read Fred’s story about our barn collapse in 2013 here.

In the News

In Memory of David Vlietstra March, 2017

Michigan Farmers on their Way to to Lansing to Meet with Legislature  WLNS, February, 2016

Kalamazoo-area obituaries today:  Ada Vlietstra, 92, member of Michigan Farmers Hall of Fame, January, 2012

Declining Dairy Prices Costly to West Michigan Farmers  Kalamazoo Gazette, April, 2009

He Extended Zerks on Skid Steer Loader Farm Show Magazine, 2002

Dump Truck Turned into Big Dump Trailer Farm Show Magazine, 2000

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s