Sometimes there are turning points in a person’s life. And sometimes those turning points are people that God puts in your life. One of those people that God put in our life has left his earthly home.
Dr. Dan Skow, a local veterinarian, passed away recently. It was with his passing that I realized how important he was to our life, especially during the beginning of our farming days. It was because of Dan, that we started raising hogs.
Raising hogs was not a family affair. My husband and his family milked cows. But Dan bought a farm site very close to where my husband lived. When my husband was in high school, Dan asked if he wanted to take care of pigs that Dan put on that farm. Being the farm kid my husband was, he said yes. It was a small hog farm, a few less than 100 sows. All the sows and boars were housed in outside dirt lots. The barn held 24 farrowing (birthing) stalls where the sows gave birth.
After working for Dan during and after high school and after we married, we knew we wanted to buy the farm site, along with the sows.
We wanted to raise pigs.
And so it happened. We still remember the night, about 35 years ago, where we went to Dan’s house to talk about buying the farm site. We remember him having an interest in nutrition and natural foods. That night, he offered us carrot juice and though neither one of us was real excited about drinking it, we were respectful and drank it. To this day, and I have to be honest here, that was my last glass of carrot juice! Sorry Dan!
But he said YES! We could buy the farm site! You have no idea on how excited a 23 and a 19 year-old couple could be!
|The farm site we purchased from Dan|
And so the journey started.
Because we were young and just starting to farm, we chose to go through FmHA to secure a loan. FmHA, a governmental agency, was used by many beginning farmers. We started the paperwork. We were naive and had NO idea what would be involved in securing this loan. It literally took us nearly a year to get through all the steps. To us, it seemed liked they wanted to string out the process – making us pay our “dues”. Once one step was done, they always had another and another, etc. But through it all, Dan was patient. He stood by us and waited through the long bureaucratic-laden process. Eventually, we had the money and we were OWNERS! We were PIG FARMERS!
Dan was always a very warm, genuine person. Whenever he saw you, no matter where it was, he would always stop and talk to you. He was always interested in what you had to say, he wanted to know how things were going on the farm and how the family was.
Thank you Dan, we were lucky and blessed to have known you.