“I want my children to experience growing up on a family farm, just the way I did. I want them to work alongside my husband and me whether it’s in a combine or rounding up cows. They will be there with us learning the value of farming and experience how families work hard together to provide. ” Amanda Bader, Lehr, North Dakota
Amanda Bader came to mind right away when I was planning this Women in Agriculture series. I remember seeing her work in the livestock barn last summer at the local county fair with her young children and thinking “we need more moms like her”. Amanda lives agriculture as you will read in her own words below. It’s not just a job. It is her personal passion and daily professional livelihood. It is women like Amanda Bader that inspire me in south-central North Dakota to do more for our next generation to get involved in FFA and 4-H and make sure we all keep working together to connect what it is we do and why to audiences and people not connected to daily agricultural life. I credit Amanda’s mom, Karen, for spearheading me to get active in our local FFA chapter a few years ago by taking her spot on an advisory board. Even though I had never been a Wishek FFA member as my husband had, Karen’s persistence and encouragement paid off for me and I became an active FFA volunteer. You will read Karen encouraged her kids the same way and Amanda credits FFA and 4-H for her teamwork, confidence and goal-setting skills.
Amanda is originally from Wishek, North Dakota and now resides in rural Lehr, North Dakota which is just “11 miles east of Wishek” as anyone in our area would tell you. She works “south” in Ashley, North Dakota as a licensed veterinary technician. Three small towns, all in our rural area and numerous farmers and ranchers in between all benefit from Amanda’s active role in agriculture, along with her family.
Amanda and her husband, Corey Bader, were high school sweethearts 16 years ago and have been partners in marriage and growing their farm and ranch together for ten years. They have three children. Kaden, 7, Noah 3 ½ and baby girl Audrey who is 10 months old.
Meet Amanda Bader, in her own words.
What is your role in agriculture today? I actually play 2 roles in agriculture, one personally and one professionally. I’ve worked at the Ashley Veterinary Clinic for ten years as a licensed veterinary technician. I work alongside veterinarians to help educate producers on herd health, nutrition, and low stress cattle handling. I assist on calving calls, processing calves in the spring and fall, and ultrasounding many herds to diagnose pregnancy. I get to work with some of the best people out there – cattle producers. I love having the opportunity to go out to their farms or ranches and to see how they make it work. I love listening to all the stories they have to tell. For example, how they saved that frozen calf, by placing it in their bathtub all night, or the entire life history of this one special cow. Some tell it with such passion, it really makes me strive to do the best that I can when assisting the veterinarian as we work with these awesome people.
My personal role in agriculture is farming and ranching. My husband is the farmer and with the help of his father and brother they tend to the many acres of wheat, soybean, and corn that are grown in our fields. My passion however is the ranching. Together Corey and I raise commercial, primarily red Simmental cows. Our heifers start calving in February. The cows start in March and are finished by the end of April. A veterinarian diagnoses pregnancy every fall via ultrasound. This provides us with accurate calving dates. This is very important to us because of our relatively early calving date. We need to make sure we get the right ones in the barn to calve or we may find that frozen calf out in the corral.
Summertime is my favorite. Once a week we check our pastures to make sure all the cows and calves are accounted for and not sick. There is something so peaceful and uplifting to be sitting out in the pasture on a four-wheeler or horse, and being surrounded by a herd of cows in the wide open spaces. I love it! At the end of summer, usually early September we will wean the calves and feed them. We usually keep them until January and then sell them at the local sale barn. February rolls around and the cycle begins all over again!
How has agriculture shaped your life? Growing up on a family owned dairy farm has made me the person I am today. When I was a teenager I would have been the first one to admit how much I hated milking cows. I couldn’t wait until I left the farm, went off to college and found a better life. Looking back, that way of life was the best thing a girl like me could have asked for. Most important there was always family time. We were always together doing something, even if it was just milking the cows. My siblings and I were guaranteed family time 2 hours twice a day, and the conversations we had during those times were priceless. I also learned work ethic. I hated cleaning out that calf barn every week but that “simple” job, and other jobs my parents gave me is what taught me that hard work, determination and teamwork is how you succeed in life. My parents gave me many responsibilities on the farm to prepare me for my future. They also encouraged me to join 4-H and FFA. Through these great organizations I also learned the value of teamwork, gained confidence in myself, and simply the desire to set goals and achieve them.
I want my children to experience growing up on a family farm, just the way I did. I want them to work alongside my husband and me whether it’s in a combine or rounding up cows. They will be there with us learning the value of farming and experience how families work hard together to provide.
What is your favorite home-cooked meal? My favorite home-cooked meal is most definitely not one I would cook. I don’t really like to cook. I would much rather be outside hanging out with my horses or even working with the cows. So I would have to give my Grandma Frances credit for this one. On Sundays after church we would occasionally go to my grandmas and she would always have homemade noodle soup, which we would sprinkle cinnamon in it or ketchup. To some this may sound very odd, but for my family and me this soup was the best.
What makes you smile? My kids make me smile. Kaden talking about how much fun he had with his friends, Noah asking to listen to his favorite song for the 10th time as we are driving to town, and Audrey crawling around the house to find me and when she does she gives me her biggest toothless smile. My children are my greatest joy.
If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be? Slow down, and enjoy the simple things in life. It seems everyone is so busy these days trying to do and be involved in so many different things. We are so concerned about staying connected to the outside world. We don’t take the time to go fishing or play a game of kick ball with our kids, or get together with our friends and family for a picnic and some volleyball. It’s the simple things I did as a kid that I cherish, and I hope someday that my children will have these same fond memories of family time.
Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your story and passion!
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Earlier features this month include:
November 1: Introducing 30 Days of Women in Agriculture
For a listing of all the 30 Days Bloggers my friend Holly Spangler rounded up, visit here.