The mission of my farmer photo project is to encourage farmers by providing them with images that
tell the story of the passion, persistence and hard work they put into a sometimes thankless profession.
Farming is truly a family oriented lifestyle centered around animals and the land and I want
to share that simple, challenging, and beautiful life with everyone who will stop and take notice in this series
of blog posts. The first farm in my "Farmer Photo Project" series is J-Springs Dairy. Here is their story:
It hasn’t been an easy ride. We have definitely faced our ups and downs just like most farm families. Overcoming adversity and hardship has always been a common theme. When the going gets tough, the tough just get going. There will always be trouble and issues that come up, but we work together as a family to overcome any issue that arises.
John and Judy Springstroh purchased the farm back in 1965. It was a basic place, and was able to house 40 cows but that was about it. In the next few years, John went on to really modernize the place, doubled the herd size, bought neighboring farms, and built up the farm to what you see today. He died at the age of 37 in 1980. Judy hardly missed a beat and took over the farm while raising three kids. With the help of a few awesome family members and friends, they helped with everything around the farm and helped keep it going. Currently the farm is in a partnership between Judy and her two daughters, Tami and Amber. Small updates were made along the way, but all in all the farm was preserved from the way it was in 1980. More recently bigger updates that were needed have been started, and some of them completed.
We are still currently in the updating phase and are trying to make improvements to aid in cow comfort. With the milk price where it is at right now, we have tried to do as much work ourselves as we can to make those improvements happen. It hasn’t been an easy road, but we have been seeing the fruits of our labor paying off.
The farm means a lot to our family. It has been a safe place to raise the next generation. It has been a place where a good work ethic actually means something. It has been a place where we can experience God’s blessings every single day. We have laughed, cried, sweat, and bled with each other, sometimes all in the same day. We have cherished every moment, good and bad. The farm has been a place to go with all the stress of the world and just sit around and think. It has been a place where a lot of problems arise, but those problems get met with solutions. We have dreams, but we know the work that has to go into those dreams to make them become a reality. There are so many life lessons that are learned only on the farm that we take it for granted sometimes.
Life around the farm definitely isn’t for everyone, but for some of us, it is the only thing we know. The long days, the cold nights, the lack of sleep, and the stress we encounter are countered with the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the gift of new life and new beginnings, a second chance, family, hard work, and dedication. I have always had my family by my side, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.