Tell us your favorite experience of your son helping with chores. At a very young age, Jacob would be in the barn helping with whatever he was able to do. Watching him interact with the cows is my favorite part. I usually find him sitting next to one of his pet cows giving them a little extra attention.

What qualities does your son have that benefit the farm? Jacob has an eye for cows, noticing if a cow is not feeling well or is feeling off. That is a very hard thing to train someone to do, and for him, it comes naturally.

What are your responsibilities on the farm? My responsibilities are to help with pretty much everything. The only thing that I usually don’t help with is mixing feed in the mornings. I scrape the stalls, feed calves, push up feed, clean the calf barn, clean the milking robots, move cows into the holding pen for the milker and any other miscellaneous chores that are not daily tasks.

When did you begin helping on the farm? I don’t remember exactly when I started helping on the farm, but even before I could help with chores, I would be out with my dad or grandparents on the farm while they did chores. I would help carry empty pails or ride along on the tractor.

How do you balance school, extracurricular activities and farm chores? My dad doesn’t make me do farm chores on the mornings that I have school. When I am not in any extracurricular activities, I come home from school and do farm chores. But when I am in an afterschool sport, such as soccer or track and field, I help with evening chores if they are not yet done when I get home. I make sure to use my in-class time and my study hall to ensure I don’t have too much homework when I am done with my day.

How has working on the farm shaped your character? Working on my farm has made me a hard worker. Even when I get a project in school, I get it done right away instead of procrastinating. Then, I don’t have to worry about doing that project in my free time.

What do you love most about farm life? My favorite thing about farm life is the cows. Working with animals is more fun than a job, such as being a cook, because the cows are living things that have personalities. Not a single day will be the same. While being a cook, on the other hand, can get pretty boring and repetitive.

What is one thing you have learned from working alongside your parents? One thing I have learned from working alongside my parents is that communication is key. The only problems that arise are from not communicating, such as what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. I have learned to communicate better in a workplace by working alongside my parents.

What are your future plans? My future plans are to go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for an engineering degree. I am not certain on my career path, but that is my general idea. I mainly want to do some job that requires math or science, as those are the subjects I excel in the most in school.