Family Tradition

 

Agriculture is in my blood. There is just no other way to say it. Both of my parents came from dairy farms. Both of my grandfathers were active in local and national dairy boards. They were both huge promoters and advocates for the dairy and entire agriculture industry. When my parents married, they too began their own dairy operation, while my father continued teaching agriculture at the high school level. I spent a majority of my childhood helping my parents on the dairy. I helped milk, fed baby calves and worked with our show animals. My parents wanted me involved in 4-H, so I began showing myself as soon as I was 8. We traveled all across the country to cattle shows of all levels. So when somebody asks me if I have a strong agriculture foundation, I easily can reply YES!

Even today, I still use this strong agriculture foundation. It is what I am studying and it is what I want to find a career in. The part-time jobs I hold all deal with agriculture whether they be taking care of horses at local stables, working at a veterinary clinic and even milking cows at my aunt’s dairy when I am needed.

Yes, I said my aunt’s dairy. Today, I still have two of my aunts that run their own dairy operations in southwest Missouri. My mother’s parents also still milk. They all run herds of about 100-150 registered Brown Swiss and Holstein. Each one of my cousins on my mother’s side have been or currently are involved in 4-H and FFA, and have a passion for showing Brown Swiss cattle. I have a cousin who teaches agriculture at Pierce City High School. This tradition my family contains is unique, and has not been given the chance to quit.

Agriculture roots run deep in my family. Not only do I want to be an advocate for the entire agriculture industry, I also want to work to protect the well-being of our farmers. I want to protect my family. It is my duty and my calling. We all know the economy is tough on farmers of all types, especially small dairy farm owners. With my family falling in that category, I want to do whatever I can to help them.

So when I am asked to tell a little bit of my background, this is what comes to mind. I do not want to see my family’s tradition end. I know the benefits of growing up on a dairy farm, and how it molds you as a person. I am just doing what I can to keep our family tradition going and strong.

Maybe you have a family tradition that you are wanting to keep going. Maybe you are wanting to start your own agriculture tradition for future generations to follow. Whatever your case may be, I encourage you to always work hard to keep it alive. Traditions in agriculture families are getting harder and harder to keep. It is up to us to save those so we can pass them on to our future, and to keep this industry strong.

A Picture of the Fulp Family at the 2010 Ozark Empire Fair

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