Raising a Farmer

Alot of work but always room for laughter

Morrison County Fair~Colombe Ag Learning Center

There is a hidden treasure at the Morrison County Fair.

It is the Colombe Ag Learning Center.

We were honored to be asked to be a part of it this year. I have watched and rewatched this video.

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Foundation of Words~Declaration of Independence

Last summer I had the opportunity to take Everett to Washington, DC. We were invited by our co-op to share our farm story with legislators. Nathan was unable to go so Everett came with me. Every spare moment we had in between meetings; I would take Everett to monuments throughout the city. I wanted Everett to be able to experience as much as we possibly could in a small amount of time. I knew this could possibly be a once in a lifetime opportunity for him. We were able to see many of the main monuments we see and think of. There is so much history in DC. There is so much meaning in DC beyond the politics.

Washington, DC, 2018

On our last day, we were able to visit Arlington Cemetery. The sounds of the changing of the guard, the clicking of shoes, the silence surrounding the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, will forever me in my memory.

Arlington Cemetery, 2018

As we were having lunch on our last day with some fellow dairy farmers we were talking about each of our favorite parts of DC. The monuments that surprised us. The ones that made us think. The ones where we could hear our own hearts beat. The ones where we would hold our breath. The ones we could sit by and be next to all day. Our conversation changed to “Where is the Declaration of Independence?” “Is it here in DC?” I took out my phone and found out it is at the National Archives in DC. I looked at the time, rechecked what time our fight was leaving and said to Everett, “We have about 2 hours, do you want to see if we can get in before we have to leave?” Of course, Everett said yes.

The line was long to get into the National Archives, we were starting to get nervous if we were going to run out of time. When we got into the building, we asked the first security guard we found where the Declaration of Independence calls home, the rotunda. As we made our way closer in the dimly lit room. Emotions began to well up inside of me. So many monuments and places we saw. Every monument has a meaning. Every monument means something. The one that should be on the top of our list to visit we almost forgot. Visiting the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights along with so many other letters. So many pieces of paper with pen scribes of words that shaped our country. So many moments in time where words changed the course of history. The pieces of paper we forget about but the pieces of paper we were founded on. The words that created everything we are, home of the free because of the brave.


Everett and I in front of the National Archives, 2018





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Saying Goodbye to Lady Wilt

Our hearts are so broken.

Farming is hard.

It is even harder when we have to tell our son, Everett, his special heifer Lady Wilt died unexpectedly. She was fine in the morning and by evening chores we found her in a stall passed away. It was difficult to tell Everett because we didn’t have a reason. She wasn’t sick. She wasn’t acting different. She was eating and drinking.

We were all looking forward to Lady Wilt having her first calf the end of summer. Sometimes in farming and in life there are no answers to our pain. All we can do is love on each other and stand by each other.

Lady Wilt was the daughter of Everett’s beloved cow 304IMG_6933


As we said our goodbyes to Lady Wilt we talked about how she would chew through her lead rope.

How tiny she was as a calf.


How much fun we had with her.

How it was pure happiness to share her with everyone.

We talked about how soft her hair was.

To how she would open the side door of the barn on her own.


As Everett said good bye to his beloved animal friend, he placed flowers on her with her Blue Ribbon from the fair. A halter. A family picture with 304 was gently placed around Lady Wilt. Nathan and I know it is important to teach our children it is ok to be sad. It is ok to be mad. It is ok to grieve. IMG_7081

Everett has decided he doesn’t want to show dairy this year at the county fair. Nathan and I completely support him in his decision. Everett needs time to heal his broken heart.IMG_7077Rudolph Dairy 0049




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Pine Grove Zoo

Thank you to Marnita and Vicki for sharing with us all the wonderful things the Pine Grove Zoo has to offer.
To think the zoo started in 1913 with two great horned owls is pretty amazing. To think how much the zoo has changed in 19 years is incredible.
Their goal is for guests to leave the zoo asking themselves “Do you remember when we went to the Pine Grove Zoo and…..”
So many take always and golden nuggets from Marnita and Vickie.
They are a powerhouse of a team.
“Come and enjoy the zoo.”
“Its all about families and people.”
“You can make a very big impact with a very small amount of effort.”
“We want to make it a personal experience.”
“Our animals are the most loved.”
“We want to express our love on to our visitors.”
What are your “Remember when….” of the Pine Grove
Pine Grove Zoo
Five Wing Art Council 

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Raising a Farmer: AgriCulture Podcast Ep. 1


What do you get when you put a farmer and an artist together?

A Fartisit. Yeah we know it is a bad dad joke but it is funny.

Heidi Jeub is a working artist and Brenda Rudolph is a farmer.

Both call Little Falls, MN their home and want a thriving community.

They are ready to set the example of how different groups can work together to achieve the same goal. They are going to muddle along and figure it out as they go.

In this first episode:

We talk art, religion, resets, rural funding, how we represent ourselves, telling our own stories, showing up with courage and some other stuff.

Cameos by Vivian, Everett, Jackson and Nate and some other sounds.

At the time I couldn’t think of Minnesota Representatives name, his name is Rep. Brad Tabke.


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There are untold stories behind every Easter family picture

This column was originally published in Agweek April 27, 2019

I wish family pictures could tell the stories leading up to the picture. Every Easter, I make a family proclamation as we head to the home of my aunt and uncle, “To remind everyone we will be taking a family picture as soon as we get there. We will take what we need into the house. No one takes their shoes off. We are taking a family picture.”

As soon as we get there, my husband and children are shocked when we enter my aunt and uncle’s house and I remind them, “Don’t take your shoes off! We ARE taking a picture! Go outside.” We head to the back yard and apparently this is play time. A time to see how close we can get to the pond in the backyard. They run around the fire pit back up to the house and are surprised when I say “Let’s take the picture!”


My husband stands stoic and replies “Let’s get this over with! Come on!” All I want is a picture with my family with them all smiling and joyful to take a picture. Yes, I can hear the birds chirping and the woodland animals coming out to drape us in satin ribbons placing a flower crown on my head. The children gentle place their hands out for song birds to land on their precious little fingers.

No instead I am repeating myself over and over again, “Put the stick DOWN!” “Stand still! Stop Moving! Get your fingers out of your face! Come on, smile NICE!” Every single time we take a family picture there is tension, irritation and frustration and more important things to do than take a family picture of us four.

No woodland creators singing to us.

Mostly with all our family pictures there is a story, and not a joyful one. The story of when I am sweetly and calmly telling my children to get over here but my teeth are clenched together. Or the time when Nathan and I are walking up the driveway holding hands, I am calmly reminding him and possibly holding his hand a little to tight, “I warned you we were taking family pictures today.”

My favorite picture of all time doesn’t tell you about 20 minutes before the photographer arrived at the farm I freaked out on my husband and two children.

The Easter picture this year doesn’t tell you while I was curling my hair I had told Vivian several times to get her Easter dress on while she was dancing running around the house with only her white tights and dress shoes on. It doesn’t tell you how Everett exclaimed “Easter is the best! Candy for breakfast!”

The Easter vigil picture doesn’t tell you how Vivian ran around the front yard tripping and falling three times. Each time I caught my breathe and each time she yelled, “I’m OK!” It doesn’t tell you I mumbled under my breathe, “I’m not worried about you but I am worried about your white tights and new dress.”


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Dairy Mom Mother’s Day Giveaway Winners

3rd Annual Raising a Farmer DairyMom Mother’s Day Giveaway Winners!!!
To be able to spread love and joy to some amazing Dairy moms warms my heart.

Thank you to the businesses who have partnered with Raising a Farmer to help lift up Dairy Moms!!
I am so thankful for the businesses who contribute to this great giveaway! 

Thank you Dairy MOMS for all you do for your families, your farms and your communities! I hope this will bring a smile to your face and you will feel appreciated for all you do!

Diane Herzog
DairyMom Necklace Melgram Jewelers
$50 Gift Cert ServiceMaster By Retka
Massage at St. Francis Health and Wellness Center, LLC

Brenda Yorek
$50 Gift Cert at ServiceMaster By Retka
Pedicure donated by Angie Petersen with Keller Williams Realty Professionals
Home Decor Sign from Shoppes of Little Falls

Christine Yorek
1 LG Pizza Little Falls Domino’s Pizza
4 Passes to Pine Grove Zoo
Home Decor Sign from Shoppes of Little Falls

Colleen Waldoch
$50 Gift Cert A.T. The Black & White Restaurant
1 LG Pizza Little Falls Domino’s Pizza

Hanna Hebig
1 LG Pizza Little Falls Domino’s Pizza
Pedicure Donated by Angie Petersen with Keller Williams Realty Professionals

Susan Geise
1 LG Pizza Little Falls Domino’s Pizza
Massage at St. Francis Health and Wellness Center, LLC

Lisa Groetsch
Canvas Tote with one year Membership to Linden Hill
1 LG Little Falls Domino’s Pizza

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3rd Annual DairyMom Mother’s Day Giveaway

Big Announcement!!! Please Share the love for Dairy Moms!

Raising a Farmer has partnered with some amazing businesses in Little Falls, MN for our 3rd Annual DairyMom Mother’s Day Giveaway to celebrate hardworking DairyMoms!

DairyMom must live in Morrison, Todd, Wadena, Crow Wing, Aitkin, Benton and Stearns County. Send a picture along with 20 words saying how awesome your favorite dairymom is.
Send nominations to brenda@raisingafarmer.com or PM Raising A Farmer.
You have till Monday May 6th to send in your nominations.

Voting will begin Wednesday May 8th on Facebook till Mother’s Day Midnight.
On Monday May 13th I will announce the winners!

Prizes to be given away:
Necklace engraved “Dairy Mom” Value at $70 Melgram Jewelers

5-Lg Pizzas Little Falls Domino’s Pizza

2-$50 Gift Cert ServiceMaster By Retka

$50 Gift Cert A.T. The Black & White Restaurant

2-Pedicures Donated byAngie Petersen with Keller Williams Realty Professionals

4 Passes to Pine Grove Zoo

2-Home Decor signs Shoppes of Little Falls

Canvas Tote Linden Hill

2-Massages St. Francis Health and Wellness Center 

Please share and thank these wonderful businesses who have partnered with Raising a Farmer! Without them I wouldn’t be able to spread joy and Share some of my Favorite things and Places with DairyMoms in Central Minnesota!

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The aftermath of winter~ Where is my blow dryer?

The aftermath of winter (Frozen pipes need immediate heat, blow dryers are a good source)

things go missing on a farm

where is my blow dryer?

Let me know in the comments what you have found, that is not where it is supposed to be.

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Riding Hans

Hans has upgraded to horse.

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