The Hildebrandt’s have a farm in South Beloit. On the farm are hundreds of cows. What started with 150 cows in the late 1970’s has grown to 800.
It’s a family business ran by mom, Amy who calls herself, “the glue of the family,” as well as her husband, three sons, and daughter, Angie.
Amy said everyone gets up around 5 o’clock in the morning.
” Angie and I at about 5:15 or so, we head down to the calf barn and we start feeding all the calves in the calf barn,” explained Amy.
They aren’t the only females feeding the farm. Even Angie’s grandma gets in on the chores.
“We don’t get holidays and weekends off. We’re here everyday,” said Angie. “We’re always checking and working with the cows.”
As they stroll the barn each day, these ladies are leaving a legacy as they help their herd in an industry that’s dominated by men. A 2012 USDA census shows women only make up 30 percent of all American farmers, with only 14 percent being the principal operators.
Amy stumbled into it. “I was on my maternity leave and was feeding calves to have something to do and 30 years later here I am.”
But for Angie, working on the farm was a deliberate choice. She hopes other women will also get into agriculture.
“I think that as we go more and more into the future, there is more women that are breaking the mold and the stereotypes,” said Angie. “[Women] are really helping in all roles on the farm.”
All the milk collected from the Hildebrandt’s farm is taken to Dean’s down in Chemung. It’s tested nine times for the highest possible quality.
If you have someone who should be the focus of our Stateline Strong series, email Christie Nicks at email@example.com.