by Jonathan Wright
From Berkshire pork to Jersey milk and beef and more, Kilgus Farmstead is highly regarded throughout the Midwest for their meat and dairy products. Duane and Arlene Kilgus founded the dairy farm in 1958, selling their milk to a local cooperative for over 30 years while raising seven children. The next generation of Kilguses took over the operation in 1989, though Duane and Arlene remain involved to this day—giving tours, assisting customers, and helping to prepare orders for delivery.
“We milk Jersey cows, which produce a more nutrient-dense milk and give the milk more body and flavor,” says Matt Kilgus, third-generation partner at Kilgus Farmstead. In addition to whole, 2% and skim milk, they produce non-homogenized and chocolate milk, heavy cream and half-and-half, a seasonal eggnog, and a couple of ice cream mixes.
The Kilgus’s beef comes from their own Jersey steers, their pork is 100% Berkshire, and their goat meat comes from Boer goats—all of them raised and processed on the farm. “The Kilgus family is involved in every step of the process from our farm to your table,” Matt notes. “The foundation for our quality products is careful breed selection and respectful, humane care for our animals.” They also work with local producers of chicken, Cornish game hen, turkey, lamb and rabbit to distribute their products wholesale.
“We have a little country store on our farm where you can find all of our meat and dairy products, as well as many other local specialty items,” notes Matt’s wife Jenna, who plays a leading role in the operation, alongside multiple other generations of the family. The Kilgus Farmstead Country Store is located on the farm, one mile south of Fairbury, and is open Monday through Saturday, 8am to 6pm. Come early on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday to watch the milk bottling process in action—or visit their website to schedule a farm tour. kilgusfarmstead.comPM