|3/8/2018 2:28:00 PM|
My Love for Agriculture
|Many of those who know me, know that I grew up on a beef cow-calf farm outside of Mineral Point. Myself, and my two sisters and brother are the seventh generation to be family members of that farm; the same farm that will turn 170 years this August.|
I am very proud to be a part of the farms legacy. Another person that is proud of that farm is my father. When my father was a small boy, he always found himself at the barn with my great-grandfather Jack. He learned many things from him: how to properly manage a farm, and to handle cattle.
When my father was younger, he moved to different parts of the U.S., as my grandfather was a district manager for Greyhound. When he was transferred, my father would have to follow, leaving behind the farm that is still so very dear to him. Fortunately every summer, my father made his way back to the farm, continuing on as if he never left. That continued into high school, and after graduation.
His dream was to plant his roots at the farm. That dream became a reality in 1995. My parents were faced with an outgrown house to raise their kids in. During many rides into town, I always remember passing by our current house, just mesmerized as to how it was still standing. It was not in great shape. That house stayed vacant since 1969, after a distant relative of mine passed away. The Mineral Point Fire Department had a plan to destroy the home in a practice fire drill. Because my father had his dream in mind, that plan was gratefully thwarted. It took five months, from start to finish, to remodel and move into that house. We have kept much of the foundation of that house, and old artifacts including an old hay chopper. There is also an old doorframe that was repurposed into a very large decoration piece in our family living room.
With the farm that still stands, stands many memories of my father teaching his children the ways of farming in the ways that were taught to him. I recall many years of spring calving season. It is always a busy time, when a new calf arrives. In many ways, a newborn calf symbolizes a new beginning. While there have been many exciting calving stories, there have also been some sad ones. Those moments are hard; looking forward to a new calf coming into this world just to come short with a calf that doesn't have the strength to live. Those are the times where we know we have to keep our heads up and say, "maybe next year."
When I was a kid, there were times that I wondered why our family chose to plant its roots where it currently stands. During the summers after my chores in the barn, I couldn't wait to get into town to hang out with friends at the pool in Mineral Point. I look back and remember how peaceful the farm was after coming back home. The farm is my sanctuary; it's my sense of identity, and a place that I am very proud of.
I was very involved with 4-H, FFA and showed livestock at both county and state fair levels. I showed cattle, pigs and even took a spin at showing sheep, thanks to encouragement from my sister, Kayla. I continued my education at UW-Platteville, majoring in Agribusiness with a Communication and Marketing emphasis. Through my education, I learned about the many trends and niches that have arrived and thrived in agriculture. I became involved in many agriculture-focused groups including Block and Bridle, Sigma Alpha Agricultural Sorority, and Collegiate Farm Bureau. I am forever grateful for those experiences; as they have helped to mold me in the person I am today.
Like me, there are many farmers throughout Iowa County and Southwest Wisconsin that have a great story. As a reporter, I am someone who loves hearing about the great agricultural stories that are out there. They are stories that make Iowa County such a great place for agriculture, something I have loved and will continue to love.
If you have a story about a multi-generational farm, the adventure of becoming a new beginning farmer, or any other agricultural experience you want to share, feel free to reach me at email@example.com, or stop in at the Dodgeville Chronicle.
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