FOLEY -- In honor of Dairy Month we are taking some time to highlight some unique dairy stories around Central Minnesota.

For 125 years, Thells Dairy in Foley has been the torch passed down to generations.

Butch Thells grew up on his grandfathers dairy farm, and still recalls how the dairy use to operate back then.

"In all those years this dairy produced milk and in those days they separate the milk and sold the cream and you would haul it to the creamery," says Thells.

Over the years the dairy continue to grow and change as the next generation took over the farm.

"Through the years we expanded from the original 169 acres to 369 acres," says Thells.

The farm has been in operation through many historic events, such as wars, the Great Depression and droughts.

However the farm was almost lost when Butch's father had a stroke in 1964.

"He says well I suppose I have to put the farm up for sale, and I couldn't let it go," says Thells.

Butch bought the farm in 1968 and continued to run the dairy until 2006, when he stepped down and his oldest son took over.

"So now he is running the dairy, and he's at the point where either you're going to modernize because some of the farm still operates on 1990 technology," says Thells.

For one family to have a dairy in operation for over a century is a great accomplishment.

Butch says you need to be hard headed sometimes to keep your dreams alive.


Butch Thells (right) greets one of the cows on his 125-year-old dairy farm. (Photo: Alex Svejkovksy, WJON News)