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Community’s farm history celebrated with annual road trip

It was a slower commute to school than usual for a group of high-schoolers earlier this month.

As part of a long-time tradition, the district’s annual spring week included  “Farmer Day” as a celebration of the importance of agriculture to the community.

“It’s really cool to see how excited the students are that bring tractors to school,” said Principal Tony Petersen. “It’s something that involves our community and is really just a staple of Middleville.”

With more than 10 tractors reporting for spring week duty, Petersen said this year was one of the most popular in recent years.

“This is the most tractors I’ve seen in the lot since I’ve been here,” Petersen said. “Whether it’s a friend or family member’s tractor or their own, you really get a sense of the history of the area.”

McKayla Laster, left, and friend Hanna Hollis during Tractor Day

A Family Tradition

Freshman Hanna Hollis, who has grown up on and around dairy farms,  borrowed family friend Marty Wenger’s International Harvester for the occasion.

“I’m what you would call a farmer’s daughter,” Hanna said. “I was going to wash my tractor, and then I realized that no real farmer’s tractor is clean.”

Hanna said she plans to work as a horse trainer after she graduates, a goal she set after working at Scales Prairie Farms with Sheri Wenger, whom she calls her role model.

“I look up to them,” Hanna said. “I want to be just like them. It’s my true passion.”

She started off milking cows at Scales, and now works with horses.

“She’s a hard-working, good kid,” Wenger said. “She loves horses and the farm life, and I think she’s enjoyed and learned a lot with us.

“Working on farms teaches teens a good work ethic. It’s just a fun job to have with unlimited rewards.”

Looking Ahead

Sophomore Caleb Guschka sported his best flannel and belt buckle on Tractor Day.

“Farming is all I want to do,” he said. “It’s part of my family; it’s the future I want to have.”

Caleb, who said he works on his family’s land and farms throughout the community, plans to have his own farm someday.

“I want to have a crop and dairy farm,” he said. “I want to do it all on my own and get a farm up and running.”

Caleb’s favorite part of the agricultural lifestyle: “I just really like tractors,” he said. “Who doesn’t?”

More than 10 tractors showed up to celebrate the Middleville agricultural community during spring week
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Hannah Lentz
Hannah Lentz
A 2017 graduate of Grand Valley State University and a lifelong teacher’s kid, Hannah Lentz has worked as a journalist in and outside the Grand Rapids area for more than five years. After serving as editor-in-chief at the GVSU student newspaper, Hannah interned at the Leelanau Enterprise where she learned a lot about community journalism. In addition to her work for School News Network, Hannah has worked as a freelance blogger in the furniture industry, focusing on design trends, and as a social media manager for World Medical Relief in Detroit.


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