Family hosting local dairy breakfast keeps musical Swiss tradition in farming

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INDEPENDENCE, Wis. (WEAU)- We're continuing our June dairy month celebration ahead of Trempealeau County’s Dairy Breakfast Saturday, June 8th in Independence. The family hosting this year's event might even ring a bell.

A little piece of Switzerland roams the green grazing pastures of Independence.

“I say, ‘I’m the guy with the Swiss cowbells,’ and they say, ‘I know you,’” said George Gierok.

The Gierok family is known for their Swiss traditions with their musical herd.

“It became a trademark,” George said.

What makes this family's farm so unique is a sound you'll hear from miles away as many of the cows here wear bells around their necks.

“The Swiss cowbells are a tradition that came from Switzerland where my father is from,” said Mary Gierok, George’s wife. “Different cantons, or states, have different types of bells. Say your cows are grazing and the neighbor that's just down the valley, his cattle would have a different sound. Here, we have a mixture of different bells because we're the only ones that have the bells.”

This tradition is something the Gierok's hope to keep alive for many years to come.

Saturday, you'll get a chance to meet the couple who has made their home in this beautiful countryside.

“We both grew up in this valley, we both met on the school bus. And her dad, dairied,” George said. “And your parents dairied; and we dated for 7-and-a-half years before we got married in ’92,” Mary continued.

And of course, you'll also be greeted by their fun-loving pup, Mariska.

While the Gierok’s are excited to educate locals about their farming traditions, they hope you'll leave that morning with a little taste for music.

The Trempealeau County Dairy Breakfast runs from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 8th. Tickets are $7 for adults; $3 for kids ages 6-12 and 5 and under are free. There will be a shuttle service provided from the SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church to help you get to the farm.