Guest Blog: Adam Wehling
Like many of you, I have fond memories of working with my father while growing up on a Wisconsin dairy farm. Although I may not have fully appreciated the day to day work while I was young, I now cherish these memories and lessons learned as they have shaped me into the person I am today.
Fast forward twenty years and I am now a father of two young boys. My wife and I live on a small farm capitalizing on niche markets where we raise free range chickens, pasture pigs, honeybees and harvest strawberries and asparagus. While we do not have any dairy cows, I pride myself in teaching my boys the same lessons I was taught as a child. A few of these lessons include: always show respect, have pride in what you do, finish what you started, learn from your mistakes and have an entrepreneurial spirit.
I enjoy having my sons help with projects around the farm and house, even though it takes twice as long to accomplish the projects, this time is a good investment. Spending time with my children working side-by-side makes me very proud! My son Easton has been helping build bee boxes by pounding nails with his toy hammer since he was 1 ½ and is very handy now that he is almost 6. My youngest son Owen will be 1-year-old this summer and is already very inquisitive as to how his toys work and tests their durability on a daily basis.
When my boys are old, I hope they can remember their old man and the firm handshake, loving hug and warm smile that I had, just like my own father. I also hope they realize that life is not all about the material possessions we may own, but more about relationships with others and how we help to serve and improve our community. Realizing that agriculture is not just something they did growing up, but a part of who we are as a family.
Celebrating Father’s Day allows us an opportunity to reflect and make memories. I challenge you to build upon the relationship with your own father and/or that of your children. Make more meaningful memories and share the fond ones you remember.
As a Dean at Chippewa Valley Technical College, Adam has the opportunity to work with many programs that train students in agriculture, energy, construction and transportation. Housed in the new Energy Education Center, renewable energy programs focuses on solar-photovoltaic (PV), solar-thermal, wind, biofuels and geothermal. Adam grew up on a dairy farm outside of Fall Creek, WI and was formally trained as an Agriculture Education Instructors where he taught 12 years in the high school. Besides working at CVTC, Adam and his wife own and operate Cedar Bee Farm LLC, a small farm north of Mondovi where they raise and sell honey, free-range chicken, pasture raised pork, strawberries and asparagus.