"When you farm, it’s more than just a job. It’s a way of life."
Photos by Megan Monday
Joel | Milladore, WI
“Farming becomes a part of you. In fact, I heard a term yesterday: blood farmer. Not as in like being a vampire, but when you farm it’s more than just a job, it’s a way of life that gets inside you. You can’t give it up. It’s emotional. It’s my family heritage. So yeah, I’m a blood farmer.”
We had a great time chatting with Joel at the Wausau Farmer’s Market. He was there with meat and eggs from his farm, Lonely Oak. Joel’s not only a farmer with a great sense of humor, but he’s also an agriculture teacher at the local high school, spreading love and know-how collected from generations of farmers.
“I ended up buying my grandparents' best friends' farm. It’s unique because my great grandma was a midwife, and she delivered the guy that I bought the farm from in my living room!”
“I’m from Milladore. Thrill-adore is what I like to call it because it’s so terribly exciting. In fact, there even used to be a bar that advertised free toilet paper.”
“We're seeing a rebirth of farming right now, with all the farmer's markets, local food initiatives, and farm-to-school programs. People want to get back to it because they're missing it. And Wisconsin definitely plays a role in that rebirth. We are second in the nation in terms of the number of organic farms, but I feel like we are a leader in the local food movement. We didn't lose that way of life as much as other areas of the country did."
-Joel (4th generation) | Milladore, WI