“Their health and general well-being is tied directly to us, so it’s our goal to make sure we have the healthiest animals that we possibly can.”Bret Schapman
Name: Bret Schapman
Location: Romeo, Michigan
Years farming: I have lived on the farm my entire life. There are pictures of me at two years of age with rubber duck boots on and my jacket backwards, trying to chase Dad out the door to go farming. But I would have to say joining 4-H at nine years old, with a steer project, would be my start.
My family: My wife Laura and I met at MSU in a large animal clinical science class. Upon completion of my degree in Animal Science, I returned home and my wife continued on to receive her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. We have two children; our daughter Avis is four and our son Cooper is two. My parents, Rick and Connie, had three boys. Todd and Jereme are my older brothers. Todd and his wife Mandy have five children: Savanah, Clayton, Colby, Elle and Logan. Jereme and his wife Liz have two kids; their oldest is Drew and youngest Rachel. My grandmother Joann is also still involved in the farm.
How I came to be a farmer: I became a farmer by rising up every day and wondering what new things were happening on the farm. Learning to drive a tractor at a young age also included picking rocks from farm fields to make them ready for planting. Ten years of steer projects in 4-H and my degree from MSU solidified my career for me. I will say without a doubt that from my earliest memories I have always envisioned myself to be involved in our family farm.
The best thing about being a farmer: Being a farmer gives me the opportunity to be out in our environment every day, watching nature unfold. Sometimes you are cold and wet but it is always enjoyable; if it was always warm and sunny they wouldn’t call it farming. We have a large responsibility to care for and improve the environment that we live in. We share that environment with not only our neighbors but also our business partners, the cattle.
My personal philosophy on farming: The goal is to make each day better than the last. Farming gives us a unique opportunity to plant the seeds of yesterday to produce tomorrow’s crop. Each and every day I hope to conquer the challenges that are placed before me and improve upon them. I hope to provide for our family not only in the present but also give the opportunity for them to plant and produce for future generations. I want my children to be able to have the same breathtaking experiences that have been afforded to me.
For more information about beef, please visit www.beeffrompasturetoplate.org