A Special Note for our Neighbors

by Fred H. Vlietstra

4th generation farmer and part-owner


Fred with his niece and nephew.  Photo credit:  Brenda Hoffman Photography

We want you to know that we love farming and try to do our best.  We want to be good neighbors and we don’t want to pollute your neighborhood or ours.  Farming is a tremendous amount of work and it has to be done seven days a week, 365 days a year.

In the last couple of years, some of our biggest heartache is from having people file complaints against us for our manure spreading.   We know the manure stinks and is unsightly, but it is good natural fertilizer and is good for the land.

We try to spread on flatter fields in winter and also try not to spread near homes in the summer.  As more homes are built, it becomes increasingly difficult to spread where there aren’t homes.  None of our fields have tiles, creeks or streams right by them where the manure could run.  Our system of hauling weekly makes it quite impractical to work  it into the soil right away, and with fresh spread manure, by the time you do, the smell has dissipated.

We test our soils and do not over apply.   Manure is basically undigested hay, corn and soybeans. Much of the manure is water.  We rotate the areas where we spread so as to minimize the impact of the smell. We like the current size of our herd and don’t have any plans to expand.

Over the years we’ve made some major improvements to our system of manure hauling and also how we handle water runoff.  You can read all the details HERE.

If you have any concerns or complaints , could you please try to resolve it with us first?  It is really discouraging to us to get a call from a government agency with people reporting complaints.   We would be happy to show you the farm and explain what we are doing, but please also understand we are very busy, depending on the season and what is happening each day.

Here is how you can contact us.


Vlietstra Dairy Farm as seen from Ravine Road entrance

8 thoughts on “A Special Note for our Neighbors

  1. Just wanted to voice support for your operation. Having lived in the area both on F Avenue and formerly Old Douglas for over 30 years we have experienced the manure and have never had a problem with it. We will work to encourage others to accept your operation if we ever hear negative comments, which we have not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fred and family, just to show our support, Helene and I love the farm and the family. You are a vital part of the community not to mention great neighbors and friends. If people don’t like the country air they should move back to the city. God created these wonderful animals for our pleasure and consumption, where would we be if we didn’t have milk, meat, leather, eggs, bread, bacon and all of the other fine foods that God has laid upon our tables. God Bless the farmers they are hard working, fun loving and God fearing providers. Please keep up the good work and we as neighbors will watch your back.
    Always a Friend In Christ Jesus,
    Jim and Helene Lenfield

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The VanOrder Family supports you and your efforts. Your home and business has been where it is long before many of the homes in the area. People contemplating where to build a new home or purchasing one in the area would have known about your farm. If farms and farm smells bother them, they could have chosen a different area to build or live in.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s taken me some time to respond to the beautiful post card you sent out to our homes and I apologize for that delayed response.

    I commend you for your very gracious and creative outreach to our community by way of that beautiful card. I’ve lived here on F Avenue for over 29 years now and I’m so glad for the opportunity to express my thankfulness for being able to be a part of the community that your business has largely been responsible for creating and maintaining. I love driving, walking, or biking past the gorgeous green, expansive landscape; I’ve often feared that someday the Vlietstra family might sell off their beautiful land leaving us with less and less open land and along with it the peaceful community we enjoy everyday. So I was very happy to read that you hope to continue your business for years to come!

    My husband and I both appreciate the thoughtful care and consideration you give to the people surrounding the fields. It was really good to read about just how you’ve executed that care with the practices you’ve incorporated into your regimen. Even so, before knowing that information, whenever fertilizing time comes around we’ve always used it as a reminder to be ever so grateful for the beauty that surrounds us as a result of that fertilizer. Fertilizing and farming and simple beauty. It’s a package that’s easy and a pleasure to accept. A blessing really. We’ll never complain. You’ve always had and always will have our support! And besides all that, you were here first, which brings me back to how I started out this message. Your kind and gracious thought concerning the care with which you farm and also the consideration for the community is to be applauded! Thank you!


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