Good land and good cattle soundly managed have made our family venture at Green Meadow Farms a profitable and pleasant way of life. Our farm consists of 7,000 acres of land and 9,500 head of cattle, making it one of the largest herds of registered Holstein dairy cattle in North America.
Merle H. Green was the founder of Green Meadow Farms. His legacy continues today with the help of his family. Merle purchased his first registered Holstein in 1917. The home farm was purchased in 1922. From 1931 to 1952, he also owned a farm in New Jersey. He shipped many grade cattle there and held auctions every few weeks.
Above: Merle with his favorite cow.
In 1943, the Green Meadow herd was sold. The dispersal of 325 registered Holsteins was at that time the largest in the history of the breed. Another herd was soon assembled and dispersed again in 1945. All open heifers were kept this time, including Green-Meadow Lily Pabst. She went on to make the world record of 42,805 lbs. of milk in 1951. She held this record for some 20 years.
In 1954, there were 250 cows being milked in tie stall barns at a number of locations. At this time a partnership was formed between Merle's sons Duane and Velmar. In 1960, a milking parlor with loose housing was built and the herd expanded to 500. In 1961, another 500 cows were added. Between 1961 and 1980 the herd continued to grow. Surplus heifers were sold throughout the USA and to many foreign countries. Green Meadow cattle have been shown at many state and national shows. Extensive showing across the country was done from 1946-1970. Green Meadow holds the record for longest consecutive exhibitor at the Michigan State Fair.
Above: Our show crew from the 2018 Michigan Dairy Expo
In 1985 a 32-stall polygon parlor was built. Included in that expansion was a calf barn with a capacity of 352 calves. The milking herd size was 1,700 head. Duane and Velmar have been very active in a variety of dairy organizations. Duane has served as President of the National Holstein Association and Chairman of the Holstein Foundation. Velmar was the Treasurer of Michigan Milk Producers Association ,Chairman of the National Milk Producers Animal Health Committee for many years and in 2013 recognized at The World Dairy Expo as Dairyman of The Year.
Left: Velmar accepting his Dairyman of the Year award.
Right: Velmar and Margaret Green
During the 1990's the herd continued to expand. Early 2000’s saw the construction of the milking center . In 2008 Velmar and Margaret’s family became the sole owners of the farm. Their son Craig, and his wife Darcy are the current owners/operators of Green Meadow Farms.
Left: Darcy, Craig, and Velmar Green
The farm is currently run by Craig and Darcy.
Right: Craig and Darcy's daughter Corbie is being brought up on the farm with the hope that someday she will take it over the operation. She is the third generation to be raised on the farm that her Great Grandpa started.
The summer of 2021 turned out to be the beginning of a lot of changes. The farm parted ways with Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in July and started working with Team Management Concepts which is a dairy based private practice. The farm also brought on Moss McCauley as the new farm manager and Ian Black as the new herd manager. Then in January the double 30 parlor was converted to a double 50 parallel parlor. It is safe to say that the double 30 was old and very tired after 21 years of non stop running. The farm also had the opportunity to update our fresh cow barns into tunnel vent barns. This helps our new mommas be more comfortable. Hopefully, more barns will be updated as time goes on. As 2022 ticks on, we are getting closer to the retirement of 3 of our long time team members. Ike Hunt, Andy Hall, and Roger Rademacher are all going to be leaving us with the next year. Between the three of them, they have put in 94 years here on the farm. For that the farm is forever greatful.