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vWOMEN IN AG continued from page 21 work has produced,” Eickhoff said. As the couple leans toward the age when farmers start to think about slowing down, Eickhoff has worrisome thoughts about agriculture. “I don’t see how younger kids can get involved in agriculture because it’s so expensive now,” Eickhoff said. “I read somewhere a farmer is getting the same price for grain as in 1978 and look at how input costs and the cost of new machinery has skyrocketed. If a young gentleman or lady doesn’t have a foot in the door, how can he farm? It’ll be a tough road.” Even for the Eickhoffs, farm expenses cause them to make difficult decisions. Ken has typically been able to do most of the repairs on their equipment to keep costs lower but today’s more modern equipment design almost makes it impossible for the farmer to work on them on their own. It’s a balancing act, repairing the old equipment as opposed to buying new is often a tough call to make. The couple would welcome a family member back into the operation but also realize it is a double-edge sword. Eickhoff doesn’t believe there are many farmers who are financially set up to include another individual or give the farm away. They will stay at farming as long as they physically can and take it day by day, but she adds traveling is a dream of theirs. Living in the large metropolis of Wynot drove Marie Haahr crazy, so when the opportunity came for the Haahrs to move to a farm a mile out of town, she and husband Jason took it. Jason was already working with his uncle on the family farm. Marie has been a farm wife for 18 years. Along with organizing a farming husband and four children, Haahr is a vice-president at the Bank of Hartington. “Although I did drive a tractor when I was growing up, I have relinquished that job over the years,” Haahr said. “Now I balance my off-the-farm work with my day-to-day duties in Marie Haahr town.” Haahr said she realized she needs to get done what needs to be done at the time and be satisfied with that. There is always at least one child, and usually more than one, who needs to be hauled somewhere; a necessary stop at the Vet Clinic for supplies over her lunch break; or repairs to pick up after work. “I’m the farm gopher,” Haahr said laughing.” But I also relish the quality time I have with the kids while we feed calves or fix a fence. It gives us all a chance to get to know each other better.” The Haahr family is a 4-H family which gives the whole family even more up close and personal experiences to treasure for life. Looking back on her childhood memories, Haahr remembers growing up on her family’s farm near Menominee and fixing fence with her dad Chuck, which have created slices of life she will cherish always. Even chasing hogs with dad is a memorable experience for sure. Any farm wife or kid knows that. The Haahrs are very thankful for the opportunity to keep the family homestead going. Certainly, Jason’s uncle has built a strong foundation and the Haahr family is very fortunate to be able to move into the operation with him and continue the work into the future. The family operation includes a small dairy and farm ground. When a farmer can become involved with an established farming operation, it makes a farming transition possible. “Young farmers today who can be involved in a family operation have a huge advantage in today’s economy,” Haahr said. “It’s almost financially impossible to get started on your own.” The Haahrs have one son graduating from high school and considering a career in diesel mechanics with an eye on farming someday. Haahr sees the future of agriculture to be bright. The technology advances make farming an incredibly precise operation, but she added, the farmers must be willing to change, evolve with the changes in agriculture – not forget the past – but in order to feed the world, farmers must do what they need to do and find a niche market to be the best they can be. “Living on a farm is a big chore but it has its rewards,” Haahr said. “There are so many lessons learned out here that you don’t learn anywhere else.” Growing up on a farm has taught Haahr to appreciate every little thing that comes along in life and she and Jason are passing those treasures along to their family every day. Just like Marie and Jason learned in their young life, so their children are learning they don’t need as much to be happy while instilling the satisfaction of hard work. vBy Linda Wuebben ndmad!e Ha love with Check Out... hervoiceonline 24vHERVOICEvMARCH/APRIL 2018 Get hooked on a brand-new hobby. Not only is knitting fun and relaxing, you’ll be creating handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts and fashions. •Huge Selection of Yarns •Crochet Cotton •Specialty Magazines •Knitting Needles •Crochet Hooks •Patterns & Supplies 909 Broadway, Tripp Park Plaza 605-689-3999 • www.eweknitit.com Open: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm • Saturday 10am-5pm

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