Katie Jo Horner Unedited Oral History

Katie Jo Horner Unedited Oral History


– My name is Katelyn
Horner, I go by Katie Horner. We are currently in Napoleon, or southeast of,
Napoleon, North Dakota, on the farm that I grew up. – [Interviewer] Then, what
are you doing right now? Are you working on the farm? – I just graduated
college in April, and I am back on the farm,
where I help my Dad out, and I also took a job in
Napoleon as an accountant at a law firm. Well, as a bookkeeper
at a law firm, where I work 20 hours,
right now, there a week. And I also sell rare
hybrid seeds on the side. – [Interviewer] And, why
did you want to come back and work on the farm? What about the farm do you like? What attracted you? – Well, when I
started growing up, I was with my dad
and my grandpa a lot, being the oldest of the family, I was always outside
and my family likes to push agricultural, so
we were never really in the house sitting
around or watching TV. There was always
something to do and my Dad started pushing
me to work on equipment, and work more outside
which threw me to the farming aspect. And my, getting up
where I’m 19 now, my Grandpas are
starting to retire and they’re the ones
that asked me before I graduated high school, “If you’re really
gonna go into this, like, we’d like to talk
and try to help you out if you wanna stick
with agricultural.” And that’s what
drove me the most. I never really was
interested in anything else in High School, for, like nursing or anything
big like that, I was more driven
towards the farming aspect or the
bookkeeping aspect of it. – [Interviewer] Katie,
you talked about meeting with your grandparents
or your grandfathers, talking about agriculture
and the future. Why don’t you tell me a
little bit about that? And tell me if
you’d like to have land of your own in the future. – I started talking with
my grandparents when I wanted to, or when I was
graduating High School, and they asked me, they
said they wanna slow down. One of my grandparents
go down to Arizona in the winter time so, they wanted
to start cutting back so they could have
more time down there, and they knew that it’d
be a lot for my Dad to take over so they
would like, need a step-in if I really wanted to.
So that’s what we talked about the most, and
I did take on that, I started renting some
of their land this year and in the future, I
would like to look to own some of my own land, as
well as still rent some. – [Interviewer] Could
you, do you think and, you know, obviously,
this is the future, but do you see yourself
like maybe by yourself, having land, having
agricultural land, and would you be
comfortable with that? – Well, seeing what, the
assets that have to be put into farming, I don’t
know if I see myself by myself in the future.
I see myself staying with my Dad, and possibly
marrying a farmer myself to start our own
family on our farm and push farming, but I do
definitely see me staying with my Dad, working
with my Dad, sharing the equipments that way I
don’t have to take all the assets on myself,
we can just help each other back and forth. – [Interviewer] I mean,
it’s pretty daunting when you think about
all the expenses of running a farm, isn’t it? – Yeah, it’s crazy, the
expenses, especially with the technology that’s
coming out, you can’t get anything cheap anymore. – [Interviewer] Tell me
a little bit about the technology. What
type of technology do you like to use? – Well, the number one
technology thing that gets used the most on the
farm is our cellphones. That’s, I mean if you
break down or you need something, you call
right away, you don’t go run after them to find them. The other farming thing
that we use the most is GPS in the tractors.
That gets used in every single tractor we have.
Every equipment, it all gets used. GPS, it’s the
simplest thing to do, I can’t imagine not using
GPS back in the days. – [Interview] When your
Mom talks about being on a tractor and getting
a sunburn and being in an open cab, what
do you think when you hear about that? – Well, I mean, suntanning
is nice but we also go camping and we have
to take care of cows so, I’ll definitely take
the suntanning then but sitting in the tractor
for eight hours a day, I like the air-conditioning
and the radio. – [Interviewer] How about
cows? Do you like cows like your Mom does? – Yeah, I do like
cows a lot, I have about 40 cows of my own
so, I’m out there a lot with the cows. My Mom is
a lot more into calving than I am. We take
shifts checking cattle, I’ll do them like, during
the night shifts and my parents do during-the-day
shifts but I’m definitely out there helping
if anything needs to, if anything goes wrong or if we need help with
a calf or feeding. I feed every
morning with my Dad. – [Interviewer] Do you
get attached to the cows? – Oh yeah, when I was
in Forage, I started showing cattle, and that’s
probably the hardest thing to do because all
the time that has to be put into it and after
you’re done showing your cattle, you need
to something with them. Sell them, if it’s a
steer, you either have to butcher them or sell them
or keep them I guess, it’s up to you. Heifers
was a lot easier to do because you could keep
them as cows. I have a couple right now that
I have as cows, that I tamed down and showed
myself. So that’s nice, but the steer, but the
steer aspect of it was a lot harder seeing
them go because you get attached. Even when
they’re, even when you don’t tame them down just, if
something goes wrong, if you have a cow that’s
open or something, it’s hard to let them
go cause they’ve been in your herd so long. – [Interviewer] What do
you tell me about Forage, the importance of
Forage to you and what you’ve done in Forage? – I was in Forage for
12 years, that’s where I showed my cattle, was
through Forage. And I did a lot of projects and
going to meetings is a lot of forage. I also learned
a lot of leadership skills and talking skills
through Forage because we did a communication
competition and it was just a lot of, I mean,
leading, like doing stuff and as you got older, you
had to show the younger people what to do
and how to do it and it was a lot of fun. – [Interviewer] Did
you win a couple of awards in Forage? – Oh yeah, I did
quite a bit in Forage, a lot of it in Forage
you got was just Grand Champions. Especially
with showing cattle, that was my goal, was
to get a Grand Champion with everyone that I
showed. And a lot of it was ribbons and stuff but
it was all, when I was younger, in my mind
that was winning. – [Interviewer] Where would
you have shown the cattle? – In Napoleon, I showed
cattle in Napoleon, we had a, we had an
Achievement Days there that we showed. I also went
down to Wishek, to the Tri County Fair
one or two years. And then I was fortunate
enough to win a Heifer at the Denver Stock Show.
She’s a South Devon Heifer that I won four years
ago. So when I had to go down and accept her,
so when I went down to accept her, I got to show
her then. And I brought her home for the year
and I had to keep working with her and the following
year I had to take her back down to Denver
again to show her again. So it was quite of a
experience going, that’s, I mean that’s the high
end of showing down there. It was crazy to
see how much stress people put into it. – [Interviewer] So you
said you went to college, why don’t you tell us
where you went to college and what you studied? – I went to college at
Bismarck State College. I studied Farm and Ranch
Management and during that I also did a
little bit of a County background just cause
when I was thinking about my future, I want a farm,
but if I get married to a farmer, obviously,
times are tough right now and you aren’t
both gonna make it farming strictly, so
coming back to Napoleon, there are some places
you could get jobs as an Accountant and I
was just happen enough to be, to find one
when I was in college, I worked at the place
in Bismarck and they had a firm in Napoleon as
well. So, I just kind of stepped my foot into
there and hopefully it keeps growing from there. – [Interviewer]
Are your parents, did your parents encourage
you to go to college? – Yeah, right away I,
when everybody asked me if I was going to
college and what for, it was kind of a, I
don’t know like, I mean, people say that you
don’t really learn that much because it’s
all new technology, there’s new stuff every
day, which is true but they did push me, they
said, “Atleast, go for the experience and have fun.” And that’s what I
did and it was good. – [Interviewer] How do
you think that your life and where you are now is
different than what your Mom’s life when she was
growing up on the farm? – Well, growing up now,
the technology is a lot different, so I’d say
that’s the number one thing that changes between
my Mom and I. Having the same rules
and stuff, I mean that’s, there’s not much that
you can change with that, depending who you are
on the farm, you still have to feed, you have
to do the same routine every day. The biggest
thing I’d say is the technology that she
wouldn’t have grown up with that I grew up
with and I have to keep up to speed with. – [Interviewer] And you’re
happy you grew up with that? – Yeah! (laughs) – [Interviewer] Did
you pick up rocks when you were a kid? – No, I did not really
pick up rocks, I had to, we have a rock picker
that’s on the, close to, or on the cab tractor
right now so, that’s about as most as we got to
picking up rocks with that. The, I had to pick up a
few rocks when we would like gravel the yard
or doing our feedlot but a lot of it was
not back-breaking, it was using the tractor. – [Interviewer] Your
Mom would [Inaudible]. – Yeah! – [Interviewer] What do
you feel about cooking? – I do not do
anything in the house. That’s the number one
thing I tell people is, “I don’t do anything
in the house.” My siblings or my Mom
does it all, I’m always outside. If people ask me about, anything about
food it’s, no clue, goes right over my head. Which people think it’s crazy
because my Grandma Marge is an excellent cook and
she cooks all the time, they think that you
should just follow her footsteps and I was
more with my Dad and my Grandpa, where I stuck
outside and came in the house saying,
“What’s for dinner? I’m not making anything.” – [Interviewer] I was
wondering about you and Grandma Marge but, she
probably tried didn’t she? – She’s tried showing
me some stuff, but it hasn’t gone very far. – Probably the last
question, unless you say something I want to
follow up on but, so, what encouragement would
you give to young girls that might be watching
this out here about if they were interested
in agriculture, what do you think, why should
they be interested in agriculture and what
path they should take? – Agriculture is a hard
path, there’s a lot of ups and downs, especially
the markets, but if it’s something you
love and something you wanna do, you
should stick to it. I chose agriculture
because of my Dad and my Grandpa, and they
showed me what hard work is and dedication and that’s
something that you need to put into farming, is
dedication. Especially with cattle, you have
to be by their side when they’re calving and
like, stick with them. Farming, you have to
stay with the crops, you have to manage
them. So a lot of it is dedication, it’s just
something that I like to do and that’s why I’m in
it. So if it’s something that you think you’d like
to do, give it a try, the worst that could
happen is you’re in a job, at a desk later on,
if you don’t like it. – [Interviewer] You talk
to, you talked about your Dad and your Grandfather, doing stuff with them,
what sort of inspiration has your Mom given
you about farming? – My Mom has pushed me,
especially in Forage and F.F.A, she’s been
the one that’s pushed agriculture a lot,
and helping Dad, there’s times where, I’ll be in the house and Mom’s like, “I’m sure Dad needs
help.” or “Go outside.” She’s also showed me
dedication to like, saving calves’ lives,
she’s out there something. If there’s a calf
that’s sick, she’s there to treat it or help
it and she’s pushed, especially with the
cows and calves, she’s pushed on how to,
how to stay dedicated and how to raise cattle on a farm. – [Interviewer] Very nice
testimony of your Mom. – (laughs) – [Interviewer] F.F.A. – F.F.A is, used to be
Future Farmers of America, it’s now currently F.F.A
because they didn’t think the “Farmers”
part had to be in there. I started that when I
was in seventh grade, I started with Live
Stock judging and my advisor Brian Schneider
pushed me a lot just cause he knew
my parents were a big agricultural family and
they, he saw what I could excel in, which I
didn’t see right away at seventh grade, I thought
this was ridiculous. So, I did Live Stock
judging for four years, and eventually we won
states where we got to go to Nationals and
compete in that. Then I went to Egg
Sales after that and I did that for a year,
that was my senior year and we ended up
winning State, by .5, it was crazy. We won
State, went to Nationals where we had to sell John
Deere Balers which was, I thought I was in
Heaven because I knew everything about the
Baler cause I run the Baler all the
time for, on the farm. So, we sold those and we
were, ended up winning Nationals where I took
fourth. I was also on the state-winning
Parliamentary team with Robert’s Rules of Orders. So, F.F.A has really
given me the speaking skills that I have and
shown me to push my limits. If you stick to
something, you can get it achieved. It’s,
it’s helped me a lot.