Raising a Farmer

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Morrison County Milk Project~Final Week 6, 2/25/19

We finished the Morrison County Milk Project on Monday February 25th at the Upsala boys basketball home game as they played Swanville. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to close out the project.  I didn’t know who to cheer for, Upsala’s head coach is a dairy farmer and Swanville is my childhood home school. This game was previously cancelled due to a snow storm. Someone asked what was the biggest challenge for the project, hands down it was the weather .

IMG_3618Joey Fuchs, Upsala Boys Head Coach and Dairy Farmer 


The final Dairy Basket Winner for the Morrison County Milk Project, thank you to all who purchased a chance over the last 6 weeks! 

Over the course of 6 weeks the Morrison County Milk Project brought milk to over 700 students through out Morrison County in Swanville, Upsala, Pierz, Little Falls and Royalton. Along with bringing milk we were able to raise a total of $1,549 in these communities by selling $1 a chance dairy baskets. Teams were able to decide where they would like the funds to go. They went to a student needing a surgery, a family who lost their home in a house fire, FFA, basketball booster clubs and a student who spent time in the hospital. These small acts of kindness was the fuel for the Morrison County Milk Project, Small things matter.

I have always thought and believed “small things matter”. I try my hardest to teach my kids this because small things matter the most to me. I wear a bracelet to remind me this. IMG_3662

When I started the project I had no idea what legs it was going to grow. I started it because I needed to do something. I needed to take control of a situation I have no control over. I can’t change the price dairy farmers are being paid for milk but I can make milk fun. I needed to spread something good into a hurting industry. I needed to do something. I had no idea what the project was going to mean to people or even what it was going to mean to me. I just needed to do something.

The project had three steps:

1.Get milk in the hands of kids.

We brought whole white and 2% Chocolate milk after practice. The main focus was to enhance the practice not to disrupt it. I coordinated with schools when would be a good time to distribute milk. The planning and logistics took the longest, thank goodness for emails. The distributing of milk takes only about 10 minutes.

  1. What the impact of agriculture has on our communities

When myself and my children show up saying we are dairy farmers this gives a face in our community. It shows the importance of agriculture in our rural communities. To add to the project we brought a dairy basket to home games of both boys and girls games. Each team could decide where they would like the funds to go from the dairy basket chances. By doing this is, it showed students the positive impact they can have on their choices. It shows our youth in our community small things do matter.

  1. Good food choices

Food is good. Plan and simple. When kids took milk out of the cooler, they themselves were making a good food choice for themselves. They could take as much or as little as they wanted. Our culture is beginning to create confusion around food. Knowing what is good food can get confusing with all the fad diets and ready made meals.


If you have any questions about the project contact me and I will help you the best I can. brenda@raisingafarmer.com


A BIG thank you to our sponsors KempsCobornsCentral Minnesota Credit Union, Dairy Farmers of AmericaAMPIBongards CheeseFirst District Association   and the many people who helped along the way.

Thank you to the schools of Morrison County who welcomed us with open arms!

Thank you to the coaches, athletic directors and staff for coordinating with me and making this project possible!

Small things matter.

IMG_3553Coborn’s Store Little Falls Director Kyle Wensmann

IMG_3498Coborn’s Little Falls Dairy Case Manager Jerome Valentine 

IMG_3620Central Minnesota Credit Union Ag Lender Elisha Graves

KempsCobornsCentral Minnesota Credit Union, Dairy Farmers of AmericaAMPIBongards CheeseFirst District Association  

“It’s our job to create the community we want our kids to come home to. It’s our job to create the community we want our kids to live in.” ~Brenda RudolphIMG_3633

Here are the articles from the St. Cloud Times, Morrison County Record and Dairy Star











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The story of Hans

If you are new to Raising a Farmer you may have noticed some pictures of a large pig roaming around our farm. His name is Hans and he is living his best life.  

Hans is a fixture of our farm. He roams where he likes and when he was younger and a lot smaller he would walk Everett to the school bus, he just getting lazy now and only walks them on the first day of school.  

January 2019
Hans wishing the kids a good day on the first day of school September 2020

The story of Hans. Hans started as a 4H Swine Market Project for Everett in 2018. For many years Everett had shown dairy animals at the Morrison County Fair. Some of these animals he would take year after year. Market animals are different. For market animals, every year you take a new animal because their purpose is for market (to eat). Everett was on the fence for a couple years about showing market animals. Everett bonds with his animals and showing market animals is different. I told him when he was ready we would get him a pig. 

The spring of 2018 Everett was ready to show pigs. We had decided we would start with one and see how it goes. Everett and Vivian had decided to name him Hans, “Hans” because he is the bad guy from Frozen and we have since been reminded several times the bad guy from Die Hard. They had decided on a bad guy name thinking it would be ok in the end when the new market arrival would be in my freezer. When we picked up Hans the kids were reminded he was going to be in our freezer come fall. All summer the kids were reminded that Hans was going to be in our freezer. We had reminder conversations all summer Hans is a market animal, he is going to be in our freezer. I think you get the point: Hans was supposed to be in our freezer. 

Hans Summer of 2018

Hans taught Everett a lot about showing pigs, feeding pigs and patience that is needed with pigs. Every animal is completely different. 

Everett and Hans 2018 at the Morrison County Fair

Fall came and we had some feed we wanted to get rid of that wasn’t good enough for our cows so we feed it to the pig. Hans got to stick around a little longer than intended. Winter came and I became really busy with my Morrison County Milk Project

The kids and I were on our way out the door to deliver milk to one of the local schools when we saw that Hans was out of his pen. That winter we had so much snow and it was so so so cold. I knew he would stay close to the barn and nestle in the straw. I am not sure how or why we never put Hans back in his pen. He is now a permanent fixture of our farm.    

Morrison County Fair 2019 we took him to the fair for a meet and greet in the Ag Learning Center. At that time he weighed 678 pounds. We weren’t 100% sure what he all eats. He will eat grass, hay, old silage what ever he can find around the yard. When we went to the fair I thought for sure 150 pounds of feed would be plenty for Everett’s two pigs he was showing and Hans. By the second day Everett came to me saying we were out of feed. 

We had shirts made saying “I Love Hans” for at the 2019 Morrison County Fair. We gave them away as a prize for the Raising a Farmer Scavenger hunt and they were gone in about 6 hours!! Everyone loves Hans!

Hans has about doubled in size since then. 

He loves the sun. He loves the snow. He likes long naps. Apples are his favorite. Gatorade and Pepsi are his drink of choice. 

And we LOVE Hans!! 

Vivian was not happy with Hans when he broke her Picnic table.

Here are some videos of Hans

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