Background Dirt
Mobile Menu

We Stand Ready.

Hoekstra Logging
(From left to right: Jon Hoppa (Monte’s Brother), Howie Susa (Diane’s Brother), Dave Hoppa (Monte’s Dad), Josh Braun (Diane’s Nephew), and Diane and Monte Hoppa)

Dairyland Forest Products, Ltd., in Neillsville, Wisconsin, began in one of the most unlikely places – a cheese factory. Dave Hoppa’s father, Arnold, purchased the factory in 1929. In 1935, Arnold opened a bar at the location and in 1940 shut down the cheese factory. Along with the bar the family opened a general store selling random essentials such as, tires, batteries, bolts, liquor, lumber, and so on.

The birth of a logging business
In 1960, the beginnings of Dairyland Forest Products took hold when Dave and Arnold set up log yard settings and hired a portable saw to move in and saw lumber. As luck would have it, Dave purchased an old saw mill that he happened upon in a rock pile, rebuilt it, and began sawing logs. Dave became a busy man with running the bar/general store and saw mill. However, that didn’t stop him from logging, custom farming, and playing in a Polka band - a hobby he enjoyed most of his life.

About 25 years ago the family sold the bar and eventually Dave sold out of the custom farming business to focus on the saw mill. He sold his three John Deere Combines with 10’ grain heads (very large combines in their time) and purchased his first John Deere forklift for the saw mill. With his focus solely on the saw mill business, he purchased logs, stumpage, and land to acquire stumpage. He also hired a crew of loggers.

Dairyland Forest Products, as it is known today, was officially started by Dave in 1976 and purchased by Monte in 2002. Monte’s first harvester was a 490 Excavator conversion. They currently own two John Deere Loaders for the saw mill along with a John Deere 1010E Forwarder, 490E Excavator, and Morbark Chipper. They truck all of the logs and chips; all of the saw logs go to their mill while most of the pulp wood is chipped with the majority of it going to the making of doors and fuel.

The Hoppas have been loyal John Deere Customers through the years. “The John Deere machines have proven to be very reliable,” said Monte. He said he really likes the rotating cab on the Deere Forwarder, although he admitted reluctance at first. He likes the productivity it provides when feeding the chipper and said the visibility makes it much easier.

The Hoppas are also happy with the service they receive from the Nortrax employees. “Nortrax has treated us very well. They are willing to help us when we have a problem,” Monte explained.


Interested in sharing your story? Contact us here or contact your TM.
View other customer stories