May 16, 2022 at 7:16 p.m.

A day in the life of the Weir family

Early morning rain delays fieldwork further May 9
Shari (from left), Lisa and Rick Weir gather after Lisa had an afternoon softball game May 9 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. The Weirs milk 65 cows near Sauk Centre, Minnesota.  PHOTO BY MARK KLAPHAKE
Shari (from left), Lisa and Rick Weir gather after Lisa had an afternoon softball game May 9 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. The Weirs milk 65 cows near Sauk Centre, Minnesota. PHOTO BY MARK KLAPHAKE

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

    SAUK CENTRE, Minn. – Early May is usually an incredibly busy time for the Weir family. Their days are usually busy and hectic with fieldwork and chores, but this year, Mother Nature has prevented progress in their fields because of wet and cold conditions.
    May 9 added more delays to spring planting. An early morning thunderstorm rattled over their farm when they started chores shortly after 7 a.m. The storm dumped around one-tenth of rain, and this, combined with the six-tenths of rain they received through the weekend, put an extended pause on fieldwork.
    “The earlier you get in the field the better,” Rick Weir said. “You want a more mature crop, but you can’t do anything about it. You have to have the weather.”
    Rick farms with his wife, Shari, and they have 700 acres of crops to plant each year along with milking 65 cows.
    “Twenty-six years ago (on May 10), when our oldest child (Amanda) was born, we hadn’t seeded anything, and we had a good crop; it was just wet,” Rick said. “We had to dry the corn down.”
    This will be the third time in his 41-year farming career a seed has not been planted by May 10. This year’s corn are 89- and 97-day varieties. So far this spring, manure hauling is the only task the Weirs have been able to accomplish in the field.
    The Weirs have figured out how to handle all the farm tasks through the years, dividing up responsibilities and coming together when it makes sense. Shari fed calves and then started milking, while Rick cleaned the barn and helped hired hand Johnny Jordan with feeding. Rick then joined Shari and assisted with milking the rest of the cows with their six one-touch units.
    The couple works together daily.
    “You just do it,” Shari said. “We have our laughs.”
    Jordan then limed and cleaned under the cows before leaving around 10 a.m.
    “That’s important for us,” Shari said. “We are always cleaning. Rick always makes sure they have plenty of lime under the cows.”
    Once milking was complete, they worked together on feeding the rest of the animals and mixed feed for the night for the milking herd.
    The duo has been working together since 1996 when Rick bought out his brother, Paul. Paul and Rick started farming right out of high school when they bought the farm from their mom, Lois. One year earlier their dad had passed. In 1981, the brothers built a new barn for 80 cows.  
    Rick has been on the farm since.
    “Year after year, I just kept doing it,” he said. “It’s been good.”
    When the fields do dry and are passable, the Weirs will be ready. After morning chores, Rick went to Sauk Centre to buy some new shovels for his digger. After lunch, they spent time replacing the faded ones on their Tigermate II digger. Dale Randt, a former sales person for Villard Implement, usually does the digging which allows Rick to focus completely on seeding the ground.
    By 3:30 p.m., Rick and Shari were able to get away from the farm to a field that was ready; a softball field. Their youngest daughter, Lisa, was to have a home game against neighboring rival Osakis at 4:30 p.m. Lisa, the starting shortstop for the team, reached base several times and helped the Sauk Centre team earn a big win.
    “It’s our escape from everyday life,” Shari said. “When games are canceled, we are sad. We like to get out and see other people and socialize.”
    The game was over around 6 p.m., and after visiting with fellow parents for a while, the Weirs headed home for chores, which included feeding and night milking. Around 7:30 p.m., Lisa came out to feed a couple of the newborn calves and fed dry hay to the milking herd.
    The Weir children, Amanda, Becca, Trevor and Lisa, all were involved in athletics and are contributors with chores.   
    “The kids had to help with chores,” Shari said. “I think our kids were raised with a good work ethic.”
    When the kids come home to visit, they like to help with chores or work in the field.
    “We have good kids,” Shari said. “I’m proud of our kids and how they support each other.”
    When the fields are ready, the Weirs are confident support will be there as the crunch time of spring planting arrives.
    “I really enjoy planting the seed in the ground and the excitement of seeing what another year of crops might bring,” Rick said. “It’s a good thing.”


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