April 30, 2020
Tammy Wiedenbeck is a FarmHer that doesn’t give up. Born into a Wisconsin farm family that goes back seven generations to 1836, Tammy’s roots run deep in agriculture. From the row crops they grow to the cattle they raise and now the next generation joining the family on the farm, Tammy’s love runs deep.
I met the Weidenbeck family on a foggy fall morning in Southwest Wisconsin at their farm. Tammy’s nieces and nephews (all five of them) were getting ready to start their day and head off to school, but first up, chores with Aunt Tammy.
It became clear pretty quickly that the kids were a very important part of Tammy’s world, as is her older brother Doug. The kids poured out of the farmhouse and started out their chores with a passion that only children can possess.
It was clear they spend their life on the farm, exploring, working and enjoying the together time as a family. They didn’t need much direction as many farm kids don’t and I watched in amazement as they tore through their activities with certain farm kid fervor.
Tammy started telling and showing me the recent destruction on the farm. They dealt with unthinkable amounts of rain just throughout that month. The river across the street from the farm swelled and the water not only destroyed their crops, but also the road and part of their drive as well as gates and the area where their cattle crossed the road. It was devastating and in fact, part of the road had just been fixed the day before I arrived.
After the chores were done and the kids had either made their way off to school or the younger ones had found a project to keep them busy in some corner of the farm, Tammy and I walked across the street so she could show me the devastation to their crops. It was immediately clear where the water had carved out the land, changing the Weidenbeck landscape forever. However, while the landscape had changed, the family’s commitment to keeping the farm alive has not. In fact, I would say maybe it brought them even closer together.
Next up we went down the road a bit and I got the chance to see that special bond that Tammy and her older brother Doug have first hand as they fed the cattle together. As Tammy shared in her Syngenta Rooted in Ag story, her brother has always wanted to be a farmer since he was just four years old. While Doug is 11 years older than Tammy, he was always there for her, pushing her to join the FFA and then reminding her to not give up when she lost the first calf out of her first cow. Doug is still there for her and reminding her of that to this day. I would venture to say that the support now goes both ways as the siblings are adults now. Doug has a busy life of his own, raising 5 kids, farming and working a full-time job off the farm.
We finished out our day up there on that hill overlooking the land that the siblings take great pride in caring for and in preserving for the next generation. The love of the land, the love of her family and a passion for agriculture run deep in this Wisconsin FarmHer.
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