The stories roll in by the dozens when my family is together. My older brother will never let me forget about the time he “rescued” me from the utility power lines when I got the rake tangled in them. Just like I won’t let my older sister forget how dramatic of a teenager she was when she remarks how theatrical her daughter has become. Life with nine siblings is always interesting, especially with the farm added to the equation.
I distinctly remember the first time my father decided I was old enough to drive the John Deere 1020. For those of you unfamiliar with John Deere, this tractor has the sole purpose of pulling a small rock wagon or a rake. If it were given any other task on my farm, this tractor would be much too small to complete it. To my father, this was the perfect tractor for thirteen year old me to drive. My job that day, after raking hay, was to drive the tractor a mile down the road to our secondary farm.
After successfully raking hay for the first time, I headed down the road to park the tractor. Driving full speed for the barn, I realized I didn’t know how to stop the tractor. Thankfully my twin brother was there to help with my predicament so that I missed the barn by a mere foot or two. Although that was seven years ago, every time I jump on a tractor my twin brother reminds me of the day I nearly ran into the barn.
Many of these memories bring to life the humorous moments of living on a farm. Forgotten in the moment is the daily dedication. The care that all of our nation’s farmers provide for their animals: clean bedding, specialized meal rations and necessary veterinary assistance, just to name a few. Everyday farmers take extra measures to ensure environmental sustainability which directly correlates to the health of their animals.
I have been around this passion for agriculture all my life. The Seppelt Dairy Farm has given me a glimpse of American agriculture and has established my pride in agriculture. Farmers’ daily obstacles and rejoices may alter from year to year, but the farmers’ dedication and willingness to overcome it to provide for the nation has remained. That is something to be proud of!