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

Thankful for family, friends

Fowler grateful for help on farm after breaking his leg
Jonny Fowler is recovering after breaking his leg over a month ago. Fowler milks 70 cows with his family near Chetek, Wis. <br /><!-- 1upcrlf -->PHOTO SUBMITTED
Jonny Fowler is recovering after breaking his leg over a month ago. Fowler milks 70 cows with his family near Chetek, Wis. <br /><!-- 1upcrlf -->PHOTO SUBMITTED

By By Brittany [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

CHETEK, Wis. - Anyone who knows Jonny Fowler knows he likes to work hard.
"I bought the family dairy farm when I was 18," Fowler said.
They also know Fowler plays hard, too.
Fowler, who milks 70 cows with his parents, Kord and Becky, near Chetek, Wis., ended up playing a little too hard over a month ago.
"I was horsing around with friends about five weeks ago, just screwing around like a little kid, and I broke my right leg," Fowler said.
As for how much his injury affected his farming career, Fowler had just one word - everything.
"I can't do anything in the barn now except sit there," he said.
Kord took over for his son in the barn, a job they'd both been doing since he came into the operation after graduating high school in 2014.
"Dad and I ran the place, but for now he's taken over my duties," Fowler said.
Fowler's grandma, Jean Briggs, even stepped up to fill in for Fowler on the farm.
"She came out of retirement more than a few times to help get chores done," Fowler said.
In addition to filling in around the barn, Fowler's family and friends took his place in other tasks that the young farmer was charged with, such as cutting wood for winter.
"Mom and our neighbor helped cut wood for me, as well as my friend Michael Prine," Fowler said.
Fowler described the first two weeks of being laid up as miserable.
"It sucked. I was just sitting around the house during the busiest time of year," he said. "Michael came and got me out of the house a few times, and he still does."
As he comes closer to having his right leg back, Fowler has learned to make do with what he has in the meantime, particularly adapting to driving, despite his injury.
He hasn't let his injury rob him of anything to do with farming, either.
"I still do a little tractor driving," he said.
Because Fowler is still able to drive and operate farm machinery, he has been helping a custom harvester with combining - and keeping plenty busy in doing so.
"In the last nine days, I've put in 78 hours behind the wheel of the combine," Fowler said. "That's with a bum leg. There is no excuse for laziness after that."
As for how he gets up the ladder on the combine, Fowler has adapted to that, too.
"I step with my good leg and use my knee on my bad leg to complete the step while pulling upward with my arms," Fowler said.
Because it will take a full 10 weeks before his leg will be without a cast, Fowler will be using crutches until he gets a walking boot, which he will receive Nov. 22.
"I still won't be able to do very much around the farm, but at least I won't need crutches anymore," Fowler said.
From countless family and friends coming out of the woodwork to help him around the farm, to his friend's grandma knitting a boot for his cast, Fowler is nothing short of thankful for all the time and effort given to help a young farmer get back on his feet.
"When you're 18 years old and you buy a dairy farm, it's a huge jump. It's a big step for anybody, but especially a kid like me," Fowler said. "Two years later, when you think you're finally starting to get this farming thing figured out, something like this happens and you don't plan for it at all."
Fowler is sentimental of all the people who came forward to help him.
"I really appreciate it," he said. "I'm so thankful. It's nice to know people are there to help you out when you need it. I couldn't have done it without them."
Dec. 12 is a day Fowler longs for, because he won't need a cast anymore and he can get back to living the full-throttle life he's been accustomed to for the past 20 years.
Or maybe - just maybe - Fowler might slow down a bit.[[In-content Ad]]


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