Things Dad and Grandpa Taught Me

By DeDe Hausmann

If you know any farmers, then you know how hard-working they are.  Since I am blessed to work for Indiana dairy farmers (and I can tell you in 16 years of working for them I haven’t met one I didn’t like and admire), I had the privilege of contacting some of them to get input for this blog.

Bob Jackson, a dairy farmer from Marion, started in the business in 1956 milking Holsteins.   He very distinctly remembers his dad telling him and his brother, “When you do chores, follow the same routine daily so you don’t forget what you’ve done”.   He proudly admits that he has passed these words of wisdom onto his sons and grandkids, too.

Joe Hibschman’s dad bought the land that Joe and Donna are farming in 1943 in Syracuse.  It’s a multi-generational farm for their son and daughter’s sons farm with them, overseeing 180 dairy cows and milking three times/daily.  Joe remembers two phrases of wisdom his dad taught him; “Plant corn when the oak leaves are the size of a squirrel’s ear” and “The 7th day of the week is the Lord’s Day so no work is done other than daily chores”.  Joe’s children and grandchildren have been nurtured with these phrases, too.

I also loved talking to Kent Sommers, a dairy farmer from New Paris.  He and his wife, Kathy, milk around 110 holsteins.  His dad, Darlton, still helps on the farm and he fondly calls himself the “PR Man”==the poop remover!!!  Kent’s grandpa Sommers also had some words of wisdom for the family.  Two fondly remembered quotes are, “What you learn about farming one year doesn’t always do any good the next” and “An east wind is cold no matter which direction it comes from”.

Last but not least, Lyle Samuelson, a dairy farmer (farms with his Mom and 2 brothers) from Plymouth/Culver, offered a tidbit from his grandpa Joe Newman: “ To get a good stand of alfalfa, each seed in 2 pounds needs to grow” so that’s why farmers have to plant so many  alfalfa seeds.  Birds and the like make many a meal on the seeds.  Lyle, I hope I got this right!!!

I loved talking to these dairy farmers and you could tell they had fond memories of working with their dads and granddads.  What a great tribute to dads on Father’s Day 2011.  What words of wisdom can you recall your dad or grandpa offering?   Don’t forget to thank them and may all you dads out there have a wonderful Father’s Day!!!

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