Brian Holst>ISM Interviews A-L>ISM Interviews A-L, Segment 19


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Was born on August 14, 1964, in Iowa City, IA. He lived on a dairy farm through college. The farm was small and included 40 Holstein dairy cows on 120 owned acres. Size grew to 200 acres over the years. Has 1 younger sister that was never involved in farm work. Dad's family purchased and settled the land in 1852. The same farm is still farmed by a cousin. His daughters are 5th generation to farm the same ground. His Grandfather was born in the United States. His Grandmother was born in Germany and immigrated with her family as infant. Both parents' families were farmers in opposite sides of the County. Farming included raising hogs, corn shelling business, cutting, crimping and baling hay. Remembers helping his Grandfather bale hay when he was is his late 60s.
Says he was always busy. Attended school in Durant, IA. Some teachers had also taught his father. Started and finished school in same building 13 years later in this small German community. High school had 300 students who lived within a 10 mile radius of the town. You knew everyone in school and in the community, so consequently could not get away with anything without someone knowing about it. His class totaled 64 students. They usually talked about harvesting and yields, following their parents' example. Favorite saying is "Iowa bred, corn bread feed". Felt that sports teams were more competitive baling hay than playing football in a town with a population of 1500-2000. Time in town considered a vacation due to lighter chores. Not many conflicts between city and rural kids. Rural kids not able to participate in some sports. Never had a curfew. Dad's rule was "If you can hoot with the owls, you can crow with the roosters", meaning if you got in late at night, you better be ready to help at 4 AM with milking the cows.
Chores included feeding calves, bed and hay, feeding hogs, grinding feed, hauling manure, and farm field work in spring and fall. Can remember working in the field for 3 hours after getting home from school before going inside to do homework. Parents' view was that the kids "grew up to work". Child labor was a good thing in their eyes. Now expects his kids to do chores. Believes it shows commitment. When not doing chores, rode 3 wheelers scaring up wildlife.