The acronym PIE developed after Fred and Miriam Rosenbohm took two weekends away from the farm to join their youngest daughter Laura at a Farm Succession conference. They were each instructed to write down their personal vision for the farm. The result from each of us was as simple as PIE:
Physically – We each felt a strong need to sustain the family legacy – feeding the world – by milking dairy cows and raising laying hens, sheep and other animals in addition to growing grain.
Intellectually – We equally wanted to continue offering tours of our farm in addition to becoming more involved in educating the community about where their food comes from.
Emotionally – We all wanted to keep the farm open to family, friends and visitors as an emotional haven. The farm has been a highlight for relatives and friends to visit over the past four generations.
––Physically, Intellectually and Emotionally
Feeding the World PIE
Our Mission for PIE
Our family heritage of dairy farming began in the early 1920s when John and Katie Rosenbohm began selling milk from their small herd of dairy cows. Four generations later, Linden Hill Farms has grown to a 180-cow registered Brown Swiss and Holstein dairy farm, also raising purebred Corriedale Sheep, Hackney Ponies and chickens.
John and Katie's son Fritz and his wife Anna Lee took over the dairy business and began milking purebred Brown Swiss and Holstein cows. Due to the high production traits in the Holstein breed, the herd soon became 100 percent registered Holstein. In 1977, Fred and his wife, Miriam and Paul and his wife, June, partnered with their parents, Fritz and Anna Lee, to continue the family operation, increasing the dairy herd and growing the row crop business to 900 acres. In 1986 Fritz Rosenbohm died, leaving the farm to Anna Lee, his sons and their wives.
In 1998, a herd of registered Brown Swiss was purchased. These cows were bought to complete the herd as they produce higher percentages of butterfat and protein – two components now rewarded by the dairy cooperatives.
Along with the dairy business, the family runs a self-sufficient farm, producing all their own corn, alfalfa, soybeans, oats and wheat. The majority of crops are grown for livestock feed and the remaining are grown for cash crop.
The close proximity to the city of Peoria allows the farm to give tours to more than 3,000 visitors each spring, summer and fall, a tradition that was established in 1967 when the first group of school children arrived for an educational view of the dairy farm.
Suburban sprawl forced the farm to begin a composting business in 1998, to decrease farm odors. The side business included taking yard waste from the city of Peoria and pumpkin waste from a pumpkin processor in Morton, Ill., and mixing it with cow manure. The compost was used on fields close to subdivisions and also sold to greenhouses and stores around the state of Illinois.
During December of 2006, a winter snow storm collapsed the loafing shed for the milk cows, and a fire on Dec. 23, destroyed the machine shed with some of the machinery. The combination of destroyed assets with low milk prices required the farm to rely on income from the composting business. The family decided to build another machine shed and build a compost hoop barn for the milk cows the next year – 2007.
The following year, the brothers decided to end their 30-year partnership. Fred took over Linden Hill Farms and Paul kept Better Earth Compost. Linden Hill Farms continues to welcome visitors to the farm for tours and camps.