Parents: Ed and Mary Warmkagathje
Tell us your favorite experience of your son helping with chores. We have a lot of great memories of Ethan helping with our dairy chores through his years of growing up, but one of our favorite experiences is when Ethan asked to raise sheep for 4-H to show at the fair. To see the improvements he has made with himself over the years in caring for the sheep is heartwarming. The best is when he sits in the pen with his sheep every year, puts his forehead to the lamb and just makes a quiet connection.

What qualities does your son have that benefit the farm? Ethan is extremely organized and is very efficient when a job needs to be done. He has helped clean up the shed and organized all the tools that end up out of place on a daily basis. He is also great with speaking to our employees because he has taken Spanish for 12 years and has become quite fluent in his speaking abilities.

Student: Ethan Warmkagathje
What are your responsibilities on the farm? My responsibilities on the farm include milking cows, feeding calves, hauling bales, bedding cattle, feeding steers corn and hay, testing corn during harvest time, filling the planter with seed in the spring, fixing fences, implanting and de-licing cattle, chisel plowing, hauling corn and helping my parents whenever directed to do so. I also help test the milk when the milk tester comes once a month.

When did you begin helping on the farm? I started when I was about 10 years old. I am not sure if I was much help, but I was there. I started helping because I liked being outside and didn’t really enjoy being cooped up indoors. I have continued to help on the farm whenever I can in order to better my character, help the other workers and to better the farm as a whole.

How do you balance school, extracurricular activities and farm chores? To be honest, it is tough to balance school, farm work and sports, yet I find time by waking up at 7 a.m. to do chores and be back for class at 8:10. After school is done for the day at 3:05 p.m., I can get back outside and do more chores such as feeding and bedding calves. During sport seasons, I do my chores a little faster or hand them off to one of my siblings, which is the nice part about having seven siblings. I am involved in 4-H as the current president of the Little Valley Victors, FFA as the current vice president, soccer as the captain my senior year, football, basketball, track and field, Spanish club, social studies club, student council, peer helpers and National Honors Society. Yes, I am involved in as much as I can be; however, there is no place I would rather be than on the farm.

How has working on the farm shaped your character? Working on the farm has helped me better appreciate the work farmers do. Feeding little calves that constantly beller and tip their pails over has made me more patient, which has made me a better person. I have also learned how to budget my time during the day.

What do you love most about farm life? What I love most about farm life is that it gives me the opportunity to get outside and enjoy life. On the farm there may be plenty of chores, but it is worth the price to see a country sunset every night.

What is one thing you have learned from working alongside your parents? One thing I have learned from working alongside my parents is that when I am willing to work hard for something I love, I will feel like I haven’t worked a day of my life. One motto I look to when I am struggling to complete chores or an assignment is, “Do your best and God will do the rest.”

What are your future plans? My future plan is to go to college and earn a degree in physical therapy. I want to be a physical therapist because I love helping people and want to see people excel in their life.