September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.

A day in the life of the Hendricksons

Father, son serve as second, third generation on farm
Dan Hendrickson attaches a unit during morning milking. The Hendricksons milk in a 50-stall stanchion barn.<br /><!-- 1upcrlf -->PHOTO BY LABECCA SCHOTT
Dan Hendrickson attaches a unit during morning milking. The Hendricksons milk in a 50-stall stanchion barn.<br /><!-- 1upcrlf -->PHOTO BY LABECCA SCHOTT

By by Labecca Schott- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

VIROQUA, Wis. - As the second and third generations on their families' dairy farm Dan Hendrickson along with his son, Drew, see the importance of preserving the land that was purchased by his father.
"Someday I hope I can pass the farm along to Drew. It is a place where we raised our children and someday we hope that they can do the same," Dan said.
In 1981, Dan and Connie rented the farm from Dan's father, Arthur, and took over the family business. Dan continued the tradition that his father started on their home farm in 1965. The Hendricksons milk 50 cows and manage around 400 acres. They own around 120 acres and rent the remainder of the land. Dan and Drew raise corn, soybean and alfalfa for their livestock.
Morning chores started around 8 a.m. on Sept. 17. Dan and Drew began the day by milking the cows in their 50-stall stanchion barn, which was renovated when Dan took over. During renovation they poured new cement, installed the pipeline and put in new tiestalls.
"We try to do the best job we can to care for our land and animals. It is also important to have some fun," Dan said.
During morning milking, Connie worked on feeding and caring for the calves. Currently, the Hendricksons raise their heifer and bull calves.
"It kind of depends on the market price and price of commodities. With beef prices so high, we are keeping the bulls to finish out," Dan said.
When morning milking is complete, the family heads into the house to have some breakfast before hitting the fields.
In 2007, after finishing his education in agriculture mechanics, Drew came home to the farm and started his own custom harvesting business.
When he purchased his first round baler, Drew took to the fields helping area farmers harvest their hay crops. He has made 50,000 bales over the past 12 years.
Drew now averages more than 3,500 big square and round bales a year for area farmers.
"As soon as the dew is off in the morning I am in the fields and I spend a majority of my time in my tractor baling," Drew said.
Last spring Drew purchased a large square baler to add to his business. He has baled around 2,800 big squares bales this year alone.
"If I am not in the fields I spend a lot of my free time during the harvest season maintaining my equipment and fixing anything that broke before having to head out the following day," Drew said.
With the harvest season in full, swing Dan and Drew stay busy in the fields. When they aren't in the fields they enjoy spending time with family at local sporting events.
Drew spends many hours in the winter months serving as head coach for the Viroqua Youth Wrestling team.
"We practice twice a week, starting in January with students in Kindergarten through 4th grade. Then starting in December, students from 5th grade through 8th grade compete. It is a lot of fun to bring back the memories I have of when I used to wrestle," Drew said.
Dan has been helping the local radio station for the past few years serving as an announcer during local wrestling, football and various other sporting events.
"We have always been involved in sports. Drew wrestled in high school and it just kind of continued. It is something that I really enjoy doing in my spare time," Dan said.
When Dan is on air with the radio station and during the busy harvest season when Drew is in the fields until after dark, they rely on family for help with evening chores.
Cousins Jacob and Lukas Yuttry come to help with chores or help in the fields whenever needed.
"They are really good help and it gives us a chance to enjoy some free time. We are then able to do other things that we enjoy," Dan said.
With Lukas close by, finishing his senior year at Westby High School and Jacob continuing his education at Southwestern Wisconsin Technical College, the Hendricksons are able to maintain the family farming tradition.
"Family has been my biggest asset, they are always there and no matter what - they will have your back," Dan said.
The Hendricksons try to have fun with their family, too. Dan and Connie, along with their three children and three grandchildren, spend time together not only on the farm but also at local events throughout the community.
"During the winter months we like to spend time snowmobiling. Just getting time to spend with family, no matter what we are doing, leaves so many memories," Dan said.[[In-content Ad]]


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