Cale Fedorski shovels feed for calves Jan. 5 at Beck Dairy Farms near Allenton, Wisconsin. Fedorski feeds calves, takes care of youngstock and does other chores alongside the Beck family. 
PHOTO BY STACEY SMART
Cale Fedorski shovels feed for calves Jan. 5 at Beck Dairy Farms near Allenton, Wisconsin. Fedorski feeds calves, takes care of youngstock and does other chores alongside the Beck family. PHOTO BY STACEY SMART
Cale Fedorski
17 years old
Senior at Kewaskum High School
Employer: Dave and Mike Beck
Beck Dairy Farms
Allenton, Wisconsin
Washington County
1,200 cows

Questions answered by Nick Beck, Mike’s son:
Tell us your favorite experience of Cale helping with chores. He is always available to work. When we call, he is always there. Cale is happy all the time, even when things are not going well on the farm. He likes coming to work and doesn’t complain like a lot of other kids do these days.

What qualities does Cale have that benefit the farm? He is very punctual and catches on to new tasks quickly. He takes care of all the youngstock, and I don’t have to worry about it. I know it’s getting done the way I want. I don’t have to check his work.

Questions for Cale:
What are your responsibilities on the farm? I feed calves and take care of youngstock, which also includes the steers. I also help vaccinate calves and treat sick calves. I make sure all the animals are bedded and also help with bedding the cows with sand in the main barn. I help the feeder sometimes, too, and do other general chores. I haul manure year-round, and in the summer, I also haul hay. I also fix things and do general maintenance and repairs. I wash and maintain equipment, including greasing tractors, etc. I get here about noon each day and stay until it gets dark or even longer. I am in the youth apprenticeship program at school and only have a half day of classes, but I also get credits for coming to work. I enjoy that I receive high school credits while also getting paid. I work on the weekends, arriving between 5:30-6 a.m. to feed calves, and then I stay all day to do other chores. In the fall when I had football, I worked here in the morning until 10 a.m., then went to school, attended football practice and came back to the farm after football to help with fieldwork and hauling manure.

When did you begin helping on the farm? I started working on the farm in August 2021. I was doing landscaping before that, and I liked it a little, but I did not have as much freedom as I do on the farm. I can learn a lot more here, and I also get to operate machinery.  

How do you balance school, extracurricular activities and farm chores? Being a part of the youth apprenticeship program makes my school day shorter, allowing me to work on the farm more. I am also working on the FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience project right now. I was the captain of my football team and helped lead us to a conference championship. I also like to make drone videos of farming, particularly during harvest – that’s a hobby of mine. I’ve made about 20 videos on the farm that I post on TikTok and sometimes YouTube. I’m a busy man, but I fit it all in a day.

How has working on the farm shaped your character? It has taught me problem solving skills, a good work ethic and high responsibility in what I do.

What do you love most about farm life? It is different than anything else I’ve ever done. On the farm, I’m working with lives, not like with landscaping where you might be working with bricks, for example. The cows are a high responsibility. These guys are living and moving which is important to think about as you work with them.

What is one thing you have learned from working alongside your employer? I have learned about the pride behind a farm and how much a farm shapes somebody. Also, taking things slow is better than rushing through something. It gives you the opportunity to do things right versus making mistakes. Cattle don’t take a break. They are active 24/7, 365 days a year.

What are your future plans? After high school, I would like to keep working here for a little bit. I really enjoy it. I might get involved in equipment operating someday because I enjoy that too.