Submitted by: Beth Carlson
In the words of: Barb Broberg
Even though my husband’s ancestors homesteaded in the Havre area, both his and my roots were deep in Midwest ground. So, in some ways, it was a surprise for us to end up on the Highline.
Our farm didn’t start out as a traditional family farm either. My husband, Dave, who had started out in logging and then had moved into a government job, wanted more time to get away during hunting season. He worked as a hired man on another grain farm while he completed a lease-ownership agreement of his own. Our son had since graduated and left home. We had an empty nest and soon found that we’d filled it with all things farming. There was so much to learn, to fix, to understand and to try to get done!
It’s amazing how time passes and you find out you’ve been farming 20 years. Does Dave get away to hunt when he’d like? Not quite. We do make time enough to be involved on various producers’ farm boards and share farming with the younger generation through programs like Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE).
The farm has changed into more of a family operation over the past 20 years as family has gravitated to Montana and our home place. Dave’s parents saw vacant house on the farm 5 years ago. Next thing they knew, they were moved in, buying farm land, and cooking harvest meals! My sister-in-law and brother-in-law often come for a week during harvest to cook and drive truck. Our niece actually moved to Cut Bank after working on the farm for quite a few summers. She is now a freelance writer for a value-added agricultural business in Washington called Chukar Cherries and works in the schools in Cut Bank.
We’ve had other family and friends stay with us, work on the farm, and either take a bit of Montana with them as they move on to other things or, like us, find farming irresistible.