Interview: Malvin Brockberg | Teen Ink

Interview: Malvin Brockberg

September 28, 2007
By Anonymous

My grandfather, Malvin Brockberg has farmed all his life. I interviewed him to find out a little bit about his life and how farming was when he was a younger.

Did you have any brothers and sisters?
Yes, I had two brothers and two sisters. I was the middle child, with one brother and one sister older and one of each younger than me.

Did you graduate from high school?

I got a GED in service sitting on a rock in the MT. in Korea.
Did you serve in the military, if so what branch?
Yes I wasin the army for two years September 19th of 1950 to September 19th of 1952. There was six of us to leave Pipestone County at the same time. We had four months of training. Then we left for Korea and I was in Korea the rest of the two years.
How did you get into farming?
I got home from the army and worked with my Dad on the farm and then later I bought it through an estate.
Did your parents farm? What kind?
Yes, my parents farmed, they raised chickens, pigs, cows and sheep. They had a diversified farm. Most farmers back then believed that if you had a little of everything, then if the price of one thing was bad you should still make money on one of them.
When did you get married?
I got married on June 19,1955.
Did you have children?
Yes, I have three boys and one girl, they are all married and living within an hours drive away from home.
Did the children help with the operation?
Yes, all the kids had their chores, and when things weren't going right everybody pitched in to help with the problem. Two of my sons stayed on the farm as hired help after they graduated from high school. Now they both have their own operations, one bought the home place.

What kind of farming did you do?
I was diversified my earlier farming years, I had a little of everything just like my Dad. I had chickens, sheep, hogs, dairy cows, and feeder cattle. Then in later years, I just had dairy cows and crops.
How many cows did you milk most of the time?
When I started fanning I milked 12-14 cows, then later years I milked up to 50 cows.
What was your first piece of equipment that you bought?
My first piece of equipment was a John Deere 50 tractor; I bought it in 1955 brand new for $1800.00
What is your favorite tractor?
My 50 John Deere was my favorite because it handled so nice.
What is your favorite thing to do on the farm?
My favorite thing to do is to raise cattle and take care of them.
What was your first vehicle?
I bought my first vehicle in 1955, it was a brand new Ford car, I paid $1800.00 for it also.
How has farming changed from when you started?
We used to milk the cows by hand, then went to surge buckets and then to pipeline.
Used to sell cream in 5 gallon cream cans, now use bulk tanks that cool the milk right
We had a gutter cleaner now and before the gutter had to be cleaned by hand using a fork
and shovel.
We used to pull weeds in the fields by hand, then used a cultivator and now chemical
sprays to kill the weeds.

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