A fondness for farming
MENNO -- Kathy Guthmiller loves to see the impact farm culture has on her grandchildren. "They love coming to the farm and doing their chores," Guthmiller said. "And they're learning that work ethic that you don't see a lot of these days in a lot...
MENNO - Kathy Guthmiller loves to see the impact farm culture has on her grandchildren.
"They love coming to the farm and doing their chores," Guthmiller said. "And they're learning that work ethic that you don't see a lot of these days in a lot of young kids."
Her grandchildren are 4-H members, so Guthmiller and her husband, Doyle, keep several animals on the farm including beef and dairy steers, goats, llamas and miniature donkeys.
"So, we have this menagerie," Guthmiller said. "It's wonderful to see farm life through their eyes again. It renews the passion I have for farming and it keeps the passion going."
Guthmiller and her husband own and operate a farm near Menno, raising dairy cattle until 2007. They continue to grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa, while also operating a commercial trucking company.
For the last 13 years, she has served as a volunteer with the local and state Farm Bureaus.
In 2004, she began serving as the director for the Hutchinson County Farm Bureau with the Women's Leadership Team.
"I just truly believe that agriculture is difficult and people didn't know where anything in a grocery store came from any more, so I said I'd serve on the board," she said.
In 2006, she began serving on the state Farm Bureau Women's Leadership Team.
She became passionate for teaching everyone about agriculture from farm to the table. She, along with others, presented in classrooms at numerous schools and at events such as Women in Blue Jeans, DakotaFest and Ag Day at the Washington Pavilion.
And now her efforts have been recognized. This year, Guthmiller received the Anne Hunter Volunteer of the Year Award from the state Farm Bureau during its centennial celebration.
"That made it extra special," she said of receiving the award. "Plus, Anne Hunter's daughter was also present at the ceremony. It's nice to be appreciated for the time and effort you put in. This was just a wonderful pat on the back."
Guthmiller stepped down from her state position with the bureau in November to help care for her mother, but she remains active in the Hutchinson County Farm Bureau.
She hopes that her work and others' work through the South Dakota Farm Bureau continues to make an impact and teaches the non-farming public about the essential profession.
She likes to leave people with this thought:
"If you ever have the chance, talk to farmers and volunteers, and learn about how we truly feel. Don't just take the media's perspective on things. Get out there and talk to people who actually farm. We're preserving the land - it is our business, it is our livelihood, it is our lifestyle and we need to preserve it for our kids, our grandkids and beyond."