Owning a family farm can and does look different for everyone - whether it's a 4th generation dairy farmer, with aunts, uncles, and cousins all apart of the operation, or grandpa out in the field on his old Farmall cutting hay, or a younger family like us that have both on AND off-farm jobs - there is one cliché that will hold true: It truly is lifestyle.
You eat, sleep, and breathe the farm. Every scheduling choice you make revolves around when the hay needs to be cut, when the cattle need another bale, if it's calving season, is there rain the forecast...you get the idea! The farm comes first.
This is all very normal for Chad - who grew up on a farm, and working for the neighboring dairy farmer milking cows, and also milking cows while going to college in Platteville. (Can I also put in here real quick that I am thankful we have BEEF and not DAIRY cattle?! ;) )
Our kids - Aubrey who just turned 6, and Landon who is 2.5 - absolutely LOVE that their dad is a farmer. They love the tractor and 4-wheeler rides, the cattle, the space to run and play, and now that we have chickens, their favorite thing to do each day is collect eggs. Landon is very confident - even at age 2 - that driving tractors and feeding bales to the cattle is what he wants to do when he grows up. Aubrey is amazing with animals and has no fear of walking right up to one of our cows to give an apple treat.
We want them to work hard, know where their food comes from and appreciate the history of what it means to be a family farmer in Wisconsin. It's a community, knowing your neighbors, working together.
For us, it's about more than just selling a product. Saying we are a small family farm takes on a whole meaning when you often hear of the dwindling numbers of family farms. It's not an easy task to accomplish, and we are proud of where we are at and how far we have come in the 6 years of owning our herd. We have formed relationships with the people that buy our beef, educated our friends, family, and neighbors on what we do and why, and have started to build more than just a business. It is a way of life that we are proud and excited to share with our kids for many more years to come.