"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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The Wingert family

Fri, Jun 4th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

The Wingert family has been milking cows on their farm in Harmony for the past five years. From left to right they are Randi, Morgan, Coltin, Madylan and Jim, with Claytin in the front.

For the Wingert family in Harmony, farming is a part of their history, and has been a part of their entire lives. They are now sharing this life with their children, and passing the love of farming on to them.

Jim and Randi Wingert both grew up on farms. Jim said he has been milking cows since he was old enough to reach the pipeline. "I milked cows since I was about five in some respects," said Jim.

Randi helped on her own family's farm, which is next to where they currently live. Her parents, Curt and Renee Hegg, had crops, beef, and hogs while she was growing up.

Right now the Wingerts have 80 milking cows, and that number works well for them. They also have 200 acres of corn and hay, as well as their calves and one farm dog. Randi does the book work for the farm.

Recently, the newspaper Dairy Star, out of Sauk Center, MN, wrote an article about the Wingert kids in a section called "Kids Corner."

"They talked about what the kids do to help out on the farm," said Randi. The story included pictures of the kids with the animals or doing work on the farm. According to Randi, the kids are very good about helping out with chores and taking care of the animals.

Ten-year-old Coltin is the oldest of the four children. He is also a Dairy Ambassador for Fillmore County. Jim explained that means he is a junior dairy promoter, and he rides in parades, helps serve malts at the fair, and helps with Dairy Night on the Farm each summer.

Morgan is eight years old, and she helps her mom give names to all of the cows. She sometimes even helps milk them. Claytin, age 3, and Madylan, age 2, also help out, even though they are so young. They are given jobs such as opening and closing gates to help their parents. All the kids like to help feed the calves. The two older kids are also in 4H, and show calves at the Fillmore County Fair each year.

This summer is going to be a very busy and memorable one for the Wingert family. They are expecting twin girls in July. To make room for the growing family, they recently bought a larger home and had it moved to their farm. Over the next several weeks they will be pouring cement for the basement and getting the house ready to move into. They will also be packing up their things to move out of the old house, and getting ready for two new babies.

Randi said the kids really had fun being interviewed for the Kids Corner. "There aren't a lot of kids on farms anymore," she said.

Jim said over the years farms have become much bigger, which makes for fewer families farming. However, the family farm still exists in some entity.

"People hear 'family farm' and they think of a family with ten cows and a few chickens, and that just doesn't exist anymore," said Jim. He added that although a family might have a larger farm now and hire outside help, they are still running a family farm.

There are several families in Fillmore County that have been running their farm for many generations, as each person passes the business down to their children. It's possible that one day one or more of the Wingert children will take over the long tradition of farming from both sides of their family. For right now, they are enjoying their childhood living in the country, learning how to take care of animals, and learning how important agriculture is to the community.

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