County’s 331st barn quilt has dairy theme


Photo by Jim Leuenberger Bill Kolaske Jr., left, and his son, Bailey, are shown with Shawano County’s 331st barn quilt on their farm at N1021 Lawn Road, Seymour.

Bill and Carrie Kolaske, of Bonduel, have sponsored Shawano County’s 331st barn quilt. It is on the farm of Bill’s son, Bill Jr., at N1021 Lawn Road, Seymour.

The quilt pattern was designed by Bill’s son, Bailey, with the help of barn quilt project coordinator Jim Leuenberger. It features the heads of an Ayrshire cow and a Holstein cow to represent two of the breeds that make up Bill’s dairy herd. Also on the quilt is an International Harvester 1466 tractor to represent the brand of farm equipment used on the farm.

The quilt pattern has been named The Power of Dairy.

Bill Kolaske Sr. purchased the 152-acre farm in 1980 from the Richard Bonia family. The farm had been in the Bonia family for three generations. Bill raised his five children and his wife Carrie’s two daughters on the farm. During that time, they had a registered dairy herd consisting of Ayrshire, Jersey and Milking Shorthorn breeds. Holsteins have since been added as well. They also had a flock of 500 laying hens.

For many years, the family was very active in showing their registered dairy cattle at local, state and national shows.

In 2007, Bill Jr. bought 80 acres and the farm buildings from his dad, and rents the remaining 72 acres for cropland. He also rents an additional 60 acres to provide feed for the dairy herd. Since 2007 several improvements have been made on the farm, including building new heifer facilities and new stalls with tile mangers and cow mats for added cow comfort.

The herd of 75 cows and 80 heifers is raised on pasture and a total mixed ration of baleage, corn silage and corn.

Bill Jr. manages the farm, with help from his two sons, Bailey and Devon. Bailey is employed full time by a custom operator. Devon, who is still in school, helps on the farm when he can.

Bill also has a custom harvesting business, mainly baling round hay bales for area farmers. He also helps with the farm work and dairy herd on his dad’s farm near Bonduel.

The Kolaske barn quilt was painted by the Shawano County barn quilt project committee and was put on display by LeRoy and Keith Raddant of Raddant Electric in Shawano.