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Growing In Agriculture: Honoring Fathers

Growing In Agriculture

Honoring Fathers



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A column by Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch



This past weekend we paused in the midst of the hustle and bustle of summer to recognize and celebrate Father’s Day. It is the one day of the year we set aside specifically to thank the men in our lives who work hard to give us so much. 



I especially keep our fathers and grandfathers who are farmers and ranchers in mind this time of year. They are often up before the sun and still working long after it sets providing for their families and doing their part to help provide safe and nutritious food for the rest of us. Whether making the school concert, attending a board meeting, bringing a newborn calf in from the storm or getting the combine ready for harvest, fathers in agriculture tend to and care for their families, their communities, their livestock and their land.



Recently, I’ve spent some time reflecting on the “fathers” I have had in my life.  I have learned much from both my dad and father-in-law about the importance of family, hard work, perseverance, and life on the farm. Like many others, I have also been fortunate to have had other father figures who have nurtured, educated, mentored and helped me along life’s journey.



It was an honor to serve, recently, as a pallbearer of one such individual’s funeral. Ole Brubakken was a Veblen native who grew up on his family’s farm a top of the Coteau des Prairies. After bravely serving his country in the U.S. Army during World War II, Ole came home to work as a carpenter in Wisconsin, eventually returning to South Dakota to take over operation of the family farm with his brother Carl, who passed away in 2008. Although they never married or had children of their own, Ole and Carl were the next door neighbors who were like great uncles or grandfather types for my brothers and me.  Our family very much appreciated their friendship, quiet humility and sound advice.



Please join me in taking a few moments out of our busy lives to remember and thank our fathers and father-like individuals, like Ole and Carl, who have had an impact on our lives.