February 1, 2021 at 1:06 a.m.
Maddie Schmidt and Bronson Schultz (Employers)
Darrick and Kelly Johnson (Parents)
Wil-Ridge & How-Law
Junior, Tomah High School
17 years old
Tell us your favorite experience of your employee helping with chores. Most of the fun times we have on the farm is goofing off and teasing Bronson when we are working. We can be doing the most labor-intensive jobs, and we just talk and laugh about anything and everything. I hope someday Dana is able to look back and have great memories on the farm and sees the payoff of her hard work.
What qualities does your employee have that benefit the farm? I can tell her a list of jobs that need to get done and she can work independently to complete them. If she has questions, she is not afraid to ask. I always try to encourage asking questions over guessing.
What are your responsibilities on the farm? Responsibilities I have on the farm are milking, bedding calf huts, feeding cows and giving medication when needed. Other things I do around the farm is helping build fence, washing equipment, raking hay and running the Bobcat.
When did you begin helping on the farm? I began helping on the farm about four years ago. My sister and I wanted to get involved with showing dairy cattle, and we were looking for a local farm to work with for that. That is when we found Maddie and Bronson. We began helping on the farm because we did not just want to walk into the ring and show a cow, but we wanted to learn every aspect of working with the cattle.
How do you balance school, extracurricular activities and farm chores? Balancing school, work and farm chores can sometimes be overwhelming. Learning how to multi-task and balance my day has helped greatly. When I wake up in the morning, I take care of the calves and heifers I keep at my house and then head off to school. After school, I head to work and then take care of the heifers. Then, I go to the farm to help with chores.
How has working on the farm shaped your character? Working on the farm has shaped by character by teaching me a great work ethic and teaching me there is always something new to learn. It keeps me open to new ideas and has taught me that communication and awareness are important.
What do you love most about farm life? What I love most about farm life is that no two days are the same. Every day there is a new challenge to overcome. It is never boring to say the least.
What is one thing you have learned from working alongside your parents/employer? One thing I have learned is that being in the dairy industry is truly hard work, both physically and mentally. Both Maddie and Bronson have full-time jobs off the farm but also remain dedicated to their dairy herd. I have learned a lot from them and their dedication.
What are your future plans? My future plans would be to stay in the industry and continue raising heifers. I would like to be able to be a mentor for someone, like Maddie and Bronson have been for me. I also hope to be able to teach fitting clinics as that is one of my biggest passions with the cattle.
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