Seasons may come and go, but my deep love for agriculture remains. This love stems from early memories spent on my family’s dairy farm, located on the north side of Rock County. Like 95 percent of the dairy farms in Wisconsin, our farm is family owned, and has been in our family for four generations. I am proud of my family’s dedication to the land, and to supplying safe, wholesome products to feed our communities.
Growing up on the farm, each new season brought a new adventure. Of all the seasons, summer is my favorite. Summer encompasses my birthday, my favorite holiday (the 4th of July) and fair season. I have been attending the Rock County 4-H Fair since I was three weeks old, but the summer I was nine was a special one. This was the first year I could show my own calf at the county fair. My days that summer were filled with learning how to wash, feed, and take care of my calf, Seven. Working with cattle growing up gave me a special inside look at the care farmers and ranchers give their herd. Wisconsin agriculturists work hard to provide a good life to the cattle that call their farm home.
For any farm kid, fall equals harvest season. This time of year, age 13 Abigail could be found riding on the tractor with her dad or helping feed calves while he continued in the field. If it were a Monday night, I would be heading to a meeting for the Consolidated 4-H club or the Milton FFA chapter. Both of these organizations equipped me with life skills, a plethora of agriculture knowledge, and forever friendships.
When I was 18, fall and winter brought a lot of change to my life. I moved from home to a 10-foot-by-16-foot dorm room at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A typical day that winter included an Animal Science 101 lecture, time spent in our on-campus dairy plant making cheese with our master Cheesemaker, and a club meeting for one of several agriculture clubs I enjoyed being active in. My days were packed full of agriculture learning… and cheese curd eating!
Each year, spring brings new opportunities for Wisconsin farmers to get out in the fields. Planters across the state are full of corn, snap bean, or carrot seeds and more. Spring also brings the beginning of June Dairy Month! June has always been one of my favorite months, as it sheds light on my true passion: Wisconsin dairy. All month long, Wisconsin communities turn their attention to one of our signature industries. Together, we celebrate the passion and commitment of Wisconsin dairy farmers and processors. For information about June Dairy Month events near you, visit HoorayWisconsinDairy.com.
No matter the season, agriculture is always a strong thread in my life, and I have no doubt all of the seasons in my future will be just the same.
Stay cheesy, Wisconsin!
Abigail Martin, a 2014 graduate of Milton High School, is the 72nd Alice in Dairyland. Wisconsin’s agriculture ambassador works with media professionals to share the importance of agriculture to Wisconsin’s economy and way of life.