Farm & Ranch Living

WHAT HARD WORK CAN ACCOMPLISH

- JAMI WICHMAN CRESCENT, IOWA

Have you always known what you wanted to do with your life? It took me until college to figure that out. But my dad, Donald Schott, was 14 when he started feeding cattle with his father on a farm near Osceola, Nebraska; he turned 90 years old in 2019, and has been feeding cattle and farming for more than 75 years.

Sure there are things he did when he was younger that he can’t do anymore, but he still participat­es in the daily operations of the farm, including feeding cattle, putting up hay, and climbing up and down tractors, regardless of the weather. His favorite time of day is sunrise; he likes watching steam roll off the silage pile and seeing the cattle lined up eating at their bunks.

My father graduated from high school in 1947. Two years later he moved to an area southwest of Silver Creek, Nebraska. Back then it was nothing but old buildings and grassland. His youthful enthusiasm helped him build the operation he has today. He married my mom, Evelyn, in 1952.

Over the years my dad built an elevator, moved a shop onto the land, built a house and added a scale near the elevator. And over time he was able to buy the land upon which he sustains his cattle. He purchased meadowland that produces prairie hay for roughage and has pastures where his cows can thrive. He added irrigation to some sections to grow corn for silage. The whole operation works well and has thus far provided for three farm families.

Our mom has been by Dad’s side all these years. She has driven trucks and tractors, cooked countless meals, paid the bills, done the book work and raised up five children. Together they’ve faced numerous obstacles, such as volatile cattle markets and severe weather—including hail, blizzards, dust storms, extreme heat and tornadoes—not to mention grasshoppe­rs blackening the sky. Through thick and thin, Mom has been instrument­al in Dad’s success.

My father has traveled far and wide, and he loves spending time on the farm with his nine grandkids and 12 great-grandkids. He also enjoys playing pinochle and 10-point pitch with his family on special occasions.

I’m sure I speak for my whole family when I say thanks, Dad, for everything you have done for us and for showing us what hard work can accomplish. You have been doing what you love for 75 years, and we admire you and Mom for all you have accomplish­ed. We love you!

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 ??  ?? Left: Don with his son Gordon and grandson Aaron. Above, Evelyn and Don Schott celebrate Don’s 90th birthday. The cake depicts the tractor Don uses when he’s feeding cattle. Above right, Don sits atop his 1956 Farmall 300.
Left: Don with his son Gordon and grandson Aaron. Above, Evelyn and Don Schott celebrate Don’s 90th birthday. The cake depicts the tractor Don uses when he’s feeding cattle. Above right, Don sits atop his 1956 Farmall 300.

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