Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Farming - A Family Tradition

When you hear the words “family business” what do you first think of?  The local restaurant, or maybe your dental practice, or maybe the community pharmacy store.  Do you ever think of the farmers in your community?  My husband and I are proud to be 5th generation farmers and we work hard every day so our kids can be the 6th.  Five generations!  Can many other family businesses say that?

My family’s farming story is similar to other Iowa farm families.  My great-great-grandparents, Julius & Reka, immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1890.  They settled in Hamilton County, Iowa, where they got married, started a family and continued their engagement in farming, which was my great-great-grandpa’s trade in Germany.  An interesting side note is that they paid for the passage of their farm-hand, Fritz, to come from Germany a few years later.  Fritz then worked for the family to pay-off his passage.  So in 1890 in Hamilton County, Iowa, my family’s farming legacy began and still continues today.  My Dad is now the fourth generation to work on some of that original ground that his great-grandpa Julius farmed.

Our Farming Tradition's 6th Generation
The truth is my family is not the only ones who have made farming a family tradition.  In the United States 98% of all farms are family-owned.  So why do families make farming their heritage?  Farmers pride themselves on putting food on the table and preserving the land.  Through these goals, generations have learned a powerful work ethic and respect.  Because of this, the next generation feels a purpose to engage in farming and continue their family’s farming legacy.  Both my husband and I have always wanted to farm since we were little kids.  We are both so proud of farming today and feel fortunate to be doing so.  I can already see this sense of purpose to farm with our 23-month old son.  He loves to help on the farm!  If it isn’t the season to be in the tractor with my husband or I, then he’s “carpet farming” in the house.  If he doesn’t get up early enough to ride along for morning chores with my husband, then he’s at least taking responsibility for the dog’s needs at the house.  A farmer has already been made in the sixth generation.

This is a guest post I did for a local chicken hatchery in Rudd, Iowa - Hoover's Hatchery.  Check out their blog and follow them on twitterfacebook and pinterest.

I feel like this post had great timing with all the excitement from the Super Bowl's "So God Made a Farmer" Ram Trucks commercial.  I think my family's farming tradition explains, as Paul Harvey would say it, "the rest of the story", behind why "God Made a Farmer".

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