It has been 15 years since our last family picture. That last picture was when my two sisters and I were in high school. Since that time, we’ve added two husbands and five children to the mix.
During a rain delay this fall, we took time to get a new family picture. The thought of a family picture can be daunting, but they really turned out well with no temper tantrums from children or adults.
I’ve been thinking a lot this harvest about why I farm and why I want to be successful. I owe it to my parents for getting my start, and they owe it to their parents for their start, and so on.
When I really think about it, I realize that I have been given both a gift and responsibility by my ancestors who planted roots in Greene County, Illinois, over six generations ago.
Now, back to these family pictures. I see my nieces and nephews, and I realize that they are the future of our family business. The next generation is why I do what I do.
Henry- The oldest grandson. He is intelligent, responsible, and wise beyond his years. The last time I asked, he said he wanted to study agricultural engineering and then work with his dad in the engineering business and help me on the farm part time.
Max- The second grandson. Max likes to push rules and march to his own beat. He is obsessed with animals- frogs, turtles, bugs, our pet pig Wilbur, etc. He tells me that he wants to be a dad when he grows up. He might wind up being our head cattleman someday too.
Lorena- The first granddaughter. Lorena has been a fighter since day one when she was born three months premature. She wants to be a princess and a farmer like Aunt Maria after college. I told her she can do both.
Ida- The second granddaughter. She is only three so I haven’t asked her much about life goals yet. If she’s anything like her dad she’ll be fantastic with a wrench someday. She and her sister spend a lot of time in the farm shop with their dad in Kansas.
Dietrich- The youngest grandson. He is the newest edition to the family in Kansas. At three months old, I can’t envision his later years quite yet but I bet he will be involved in agriculture.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.
A lot has changed since the early 1800’s in our family, but what remains is our commitment to the family farm business.
Even though my sisters aren't operationally involved on the farm, they share interest in what we do. If I don't have children, I hope to provide opportunities for my nieces or nephews to farm, given they so desire. My dad is the 5th, I'm the 6th, and the nieces and nephews are potentially the 7th generation. Our farm has been built across generations, and these children can add to that history.