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Posts Tagged ‘horse’

Wordless Wednesday

Rain headed our way!

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After attending the Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leaders Conference this weekend, I thought it would be good to touch on the child labor laws issue that has been a real problem for family farms.  My husband Chad wrote to our government officials about his thoughts on children being allowed to work the family farm.

Lana drying off a newborn calf that was too cold

Lana drying off a newborn calf that was too cold

I’d like to share his comments with you and throw in some pictures of the kids on our farm.

Lana and Bridget painting the new horse fence

“I’m a sixth generation farmer from Illinois, living in the same community that my ancestors settled in the mid 1800’s.  I feel very blessed to be able to raise my daughters in a place that has such deep roots.  We are not a large farm, but we are a corporation for business reasons.  We utilize help during the summer to put up small bales of hay, mow, work on fence, work with livestock, and any other odd jobs that we try to get done during the summer months.  A lot of the time the ones who are looking for a very flexible work schedule, are kids in high school. 

15 year old Blane helping with cattle vaccinations

This is a great opportunity for us to be able to help them out when we need a few extra hands to work while the weather is good, as most of the farm labor we use is all our family.  We always keep a close eye on them, and would not ask them to do a job if we did not feel that they were capable.  While they are here we watch over them not like an employer, but they are watched as if they were our own kids. 

I understand that the proposed rule would not allow my daughters to work on our “corporate farm”.  Our girls are ten and seven, and have been around livestock their entire lives.  They are both very skilled at being around both hogs and cattle.  I love them both very much, and want them to learn some of life’s lessons that can only be learned by being out on the farm following me around just as I did with my dad and grandpa. 

Bridget working along side her Grandpa!

I find it very interesting that when we have people out helping with livestock that our girls are telling them how to move around the cattle, where to stand, what tone of voice to use with them, just things that unless you’ve been raised around it you don’t understand. 

Niece Monica relaxing after unloading feeder pigs

Bridget with her chickens

 We have nieces and nephews that just love coming to the farm.  My niece from Arizona comes and spends a few weeks in the summer with us.

 I know that farming is a dangerous occupation, and that there is risk with having kids out on the farm.  I also realize that there have been several accidents recently, as when they happen it really hits home.  But I feel that it should be the parents’ responsibility to be sure that their kids are kept safe.  Whether my girls choose to work somewhere else or on our farm until they are eighteen, I will always be sure that it is a safe environment, as I’m the parent and ultimately responsible. ”  Chad Schutz

It is truly important for kids to be able to be responsible for something and to learn how to work.  As you can see from the pictures, it can be fun, too.

Lana feeding Annie the bottle calf

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Here we go!

So for my first post,  I guess I’ll start of with a little background on myself and our family farm.  My name is Stacy.  I am married to Chad and we have two daughters, Lana and Bridget.

Here we are this summer with some of our cows.

We farm near the town of White Hall, Illinois, with Chad’s family.  Our daughters are the 7th generation of Schutz’s to farm.  There are five of us families that all farm together: Chad and I, his parents, uncle, brother, and cousin.  In 1842  the Schutz brothers came to the US from Germany and settled and farmed in Greene County.  We still farm the land they settled on.  Personally, I think that is pretty awesome…what a heritage!

All the generations of us working together!

Picture time this fall.

On our farm we raise corn, cattle, hogs and soybeans (some years).   Each person does many jobs on the farm which could be caring for the  hogs and cattle, the machinery, field seasons, working the soil, building and machining, bookwork, or even delivering meals to everyone.  It is nice to have people that can fill in if we have to be gone.

Livestock is the part of the farm that  we (Chad and I) enjoy the most.  We enjoy producing meat for our own families to eat, along with the rest of the world.  We are lucky and get to have the majority of the critters at our house along with our horses.

I am a stay at home mom/farmer.  It is a full time job to raise our daughters and do whatever is needed on the farm daily.  I don’t think any of my days are ever exactly the same.  You don’t always know what may be needed.  It ranges from weighing hogs, feeding cattle, driving a tractor, scooping manure, running to get parts, helping fix a piece of equipment, to feeding a bottle calf.

~ Feeding Annie the bottle calf ~

As a grain and livestock farmer, I feel responsible for helping the consumer to understand where their food comes from.  And as a mother of two little girls, I understand the need to make sure what I am feeding them is safe and healthy.  I hope to use this as another tool to do that.  I am really looking forward to sharing our lives with you and answering any questions that I receive!

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