After completing 27 mission trips to numerous locations in Mexico and South America, Marv and Mary Prestrud have taken servant leadership to a whole new level. While abroad, the couple helped build churches, homes and schools for those who are in desperate need. Additionally, Marv has also completed many medical missions.
While Marv and Mary often travel far from the farmyard, they are fortunate enough to have five children, Chad, Wade, April, Joy and Ginger; 14 grandchildren and a small handful of employees who help keep the farm running while they are away.
There is no shortage of challenging decisions to make on the farm, but for the Prestruds it is a family business and they rely on each other to help make the best decisions for their cows, their employees and the environment.
While the couple used to be found doing day-to-day labor on the farm, they have now transitioned much of that work to the next generation. Their oldest son Chad has entered into partnership with his father, which established Prestrud Dairy, LLC. While their roles have changed, their passion for providing quality care to their 500 cows hasn’t flinched.
“We treat our animals, land and employees well,” said Mary. “You don’t get very far in this business without doing that.”
Mary helps with the farm’s paperwork, bills and ordering supplies while Marv serves as an advisor to the farm while working through the transition to their children. A recent project for the couple included helping coordinate the Dunn County Dairy Breakfast at their farm on May 20.
“My favorite part of being a dairy farmer is when I am challenged to make a tough decision and it all works out in the end,” said Marv.
A true optimist, Marv has had challenges besides farm-related decisions since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Keeping his limitations in mind he stays as active as he can on the farm and off.
The couple joined Farm Bureau 17 years ago to become more involved with grassroots policy development. They believe that being engaged in policy is one of the biggest benefits of their membership, however, they also enjoy building friendships with farmers and agriculturists from across the state.
Marv serves as the Dunn County Farm Bureau president. Mary serves on the Dunn County Farm Bureau Promotion and Education committee and was formally on the state Farm Bureau Women’s Committee.
Whether on the farm, in the community or out of the country, Marv and Mary will continue to lead by example.
Story by Sarah Marketon. Original version appeared in the June/July 2017 issue of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route.