Taylor Schaefer : Agriculture, a Family Affair
Something special happens when a family is raised in agriculture.
On my family’s beef and crop farm, I was raised learning values like time management, hard work, responsibility, and compassion. My parents expected a lot from my brother and I growing up, only because they knew we were capable of accomplishing great things.
Running a farm is no easy task, and for the over 96% of farms across the nation that are family owned, that means the entire family is involved.
On our farm, each of my family members play a vital role in our success - my dad took the heaviest load managing our cattle, land, and equipment, while my brother and I were primarily responsible for our show stock. My mom, although not having a background in agriculture, was always our greatest cheerleader, helping out wherever she could on the farm.
I remained active in my county’s 4-H program, where I found a passion for connecting with consumers as I traveled the state and country for fairs and livestock shows. My love for agriculture grew so strong that I decided to pursue it professionally at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
As an Animal Science and Life Sciences Communication student, I was able to broaden my knowledge of farming practices and animal husbandry, while exploring Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry - surrounded by some of the most forward-thinking minds in the world.
My involvement at UW-Madison extended further than the classroom as an active member of the Association of Women in Agriculture, Badger Dairy Club, and the University of Wisconsin-Marching Band. Although my days were often long, I found great satisfaction in planning and attending events, networking, and advocating for Wisconsin agriculture on-campus and in the Madison area.
Interning with Mayer Farms Beef was an experience unlike any other, where I was able to join the Mayer Family on their Registered Holstein and Brown Swiss farm in Slinger, WI. After each morning milking, I would operate their storefront on the farm and connect with consumers at farmer’s markets over our love for locally grown beef.
Although each farming family is unique, our story is much the same. We devote our lives to agriculture, and love doing so. To us, our farm is more than just a place - it’s a home loved by family and friends.