Dairy Farming: A Way of Life

Dairy Farming: A Way of Life

by D.F. Don Cooper


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A story about Don Cooper from infancy, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, his maternal ancestors emigrated from Germany in the 1850’s. They made their homesteads in Washington County, Wisconsin. Don visited their farms frequently as a youth, and eventually was employed as a farm hand on his mom’s cousin’s farm. Those many visits convinced him that he would become a farmer some day. His Mom’s cousin, Armand (Wimpy) Mertz, became his mentor. Don worked full time for him after graduating from high school. He loved the cows, calves, pigs, chickens, wildlife, and especially the horses. Wimpy knew the names of the trees, weeds, other plants, bugs and all of God’s creation. Don admired his vast knowledge and was thankful for having such a wonderful teacher.I soon realized that my chances of purchasing a farm of our own where pretty slim. I worked on several agricultural related jobs. My friends Paul and Elvira Brunnquell convinced me to go on a blind date with them. Ruth Nienow, was my date; I fell madly in love with her, and prayed that God would convince her to be my beautiful bride. One year later we were married. Her Dad was a farmer, and we decided that we would try to purchase a farm.We saw an ad in the paper, “Farm for rent.” Another ad, “Purebred herd of Holstein cows for sale.” We purchased the cows and rented the farm. It was a nightmare. There was too much work and not enough income. Our landlord died six months later. The next farm was also bad news. The third rented farm was an excellent farm that provided us with the income needed to purchase our own farm. “Dairy Farming A Way of Life’’ describes the many trials and tribulations we endured. The Lord was with us every step of the way. Without His ever presence and guidance, we would not have not have been able to continue farming.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595558206
Publisher: Elm Hill
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Pages: 340
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Don was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1935. His maternal ancestors were farmers who emigrated from Germany. His grandmother’s homestead is in the Town of Wayne, Washington County, Wisconsin, — “out home” to him. He visited her homestead and the Armand Mertz farm frequently in his youth. He made many Greyhound trips from Milwaukee to visit there every chance he had and developed his love for farming on that farm.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

About the Author ix

Dedication xi

Introduction xiii

Contents xv

Part 1 How A City Boy Became a Farmer 1

A City Boy Longs for The Farm 3

The Menger - Guenther Sawmill 9

Grandma Jonas 13

Christmastime With Grandma Jonas 15

An Unlikely Couple 17

Dog Patch 21

Grandpa Jonas 25

Out Home 29

Uncle Eddie 31

The Cottage at Cedar Lake 33

Family Heritage 35

Grandma and Grandpa Cooper 39

My Second Home, The Mertz Farm 43

Threshing Oats 47

The Next Generation Farm Owners 51

My Many Illnesses 53

Wimpy's Hired Hand Dusty 55

Smokey's Hat 59

The Contraption 63

Joan Out at The Farm 65

Brother Butch on The Farm 69

Paper Route, Pigeons, and Rabbits 73

The Move to North Carolina 77

The Restaurant Business 81

My Freshman Year in High School 83

Summer on the Farm 85

A Full-Time Farmhand 89

Back to High School 93

Next Summer on the Farm 95

Building That Fence 97

Edgar Miske, A Good Neighbor 99

High School Graduation 103

Part 2 A City Boy's Rocky Road to Farm Ownership 105

High School Graduation 107

My Last Visit with Grandma Jonas 109

My Last Year on the Mertz Farm 111

Excavating Job 119

My First and Last Deer Hunt 121

An Unforgettable Christmas 125

Clover Lawn Farm 129

Back Home to Saukville 137

Curtis Candy Company Artificial Breeding Service 139

The Feed Mill 143

The Machine Shop Job 145

Milk Testing and Artificial Breeding 147

The Love of My Life 151

Our Wedding 155

Our Honeymoon 157

Bugs in Our Bed 159

A Home of Our Own 163

A Herd of Cows and our First Rented Farm 165

Our Second Rented Farm 169

Foster Boys 173

A Good Farm and a Great Start 177

Boys Will Be Boys? 179

Marketing Our Milk 183

Tornadoes 185

Farm Bureau 187

NFO 189

The Battle with Our Bull 195

Farm Finance 199

Search for a Farm to Purchase 201

The Purchase of a Farm of Our Own 203

The Poch Auction 205

The Overloaded Pickup 207

Moving Day 211

Our Lifelong Dream Fulfilled 213

Organizing Dairy Farmers 215

Part 3 Dairy Farming: Our Way of Life 217

Dairy Farming: Our Way of Life 219

Our Daughter Jenny's Open-Heart Surgery 223

4-H and the Sheboygan County Fair 229

Farm Politics / AMPI 233

Building Projects and Further Land Purchases 241

The Day Our Barn Burned 243

Out of The Ashes - A New Barn 247

The Real Estate and Auction Business 249

Great Northern Land and Cattle Company 255

Richard J. Freund 259

Cooper Real Estate and Auction Service 261

Farm Finance 263

Sheboygan County Interfaith and Grounds well 271

Threat of Foreclosure 275

Our Herd Dispersal 279

Cemetery Sales 287

Sale of Parcels of Our Farm 291

Sale of our Farmstead to the Wisconsin DOT 293

Changing Times 295

Our New Farmstead 297

Conclusion 301

Our Faith 303

Don's Songs, Choruses, and Poems 305

Other Works by Don Cooper 311

Psalm 23 313

Psalm 121 315

The Lord's Prayer 317

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