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.
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 sense of family and tradition can also be seen through the history, or legacy, of Hoover’s Hatchery. While their story might not be as old as my family’s, it is through hard work, reverence and pride that this family business has continued and strived for over 70 years.
Val raises “Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kid’s” in North Central Iowa. She wears multiple hats and loves being involved. She’s proud of where she is from what her family does to provide food, feed, fiber and fuel for a growing world. She blogs at Corn, Beans, Pigs, Kids and can be found on Twitter @PlaggeVal.