For the past forty years, DeWeerdt Poultry Farm (Michigan, US) has seen farming as more than just a job. Farming is a lifestyle that they are passionate about. DeWeerdt Poultry has been a loyal customer of Moba for years. They own an Omnia PX530 grader and recently added three MR12 robots. Owner Mike DeWeerdt says that ‘they are the best employees he has’.
The people who work at DeWeerdt Poultry Farm share the same passion for farming as the DeWeerdt family. Even the employees' children are passionate about agriculture. Ross Brink works as a maintenance manager at DeWeerdt Poultry. His daughter Claire is very much into agriculture. Because of this passion, she got involved with the 4H club. This is an agriculture club for youth in the US. The children who are part of this club select a farm animal: a pig, lamb, chicken, wherever the child’s interest lies. They have to raise the chosen meat animal and after a few months, the animals are judged at the county fair.
Claire chose lambs for her first project. She picked a ewe (female) and a wether (male) from Royal Court Club Lambs. She worked very hard all summer with her projects, especially with her wether who was a little more spirited.
For the county fair, Claire chose the spirited wether to show to the judges, and a great choice it was! Claire won the nine-year-old showmanship class and received a special blanket as an award. For Claire and her family this award meant everything. The blanket is inscribed with the words ‘in memory of Darren Elenbaas’. Many years ago, Darren was a young boy, passionate about farming, and he showed his animal at the county fair. He won the showmanship division for sheep. A few short weeks later, he was tragically killed in an accident. Since that time, 29 years ago, his parents have sponsored the nine-year-old showmanship plaque every other year and donate a blanket to a deserving young person. Darren was Claire’s uncle. A dry eye could not be found around the show as the grandfather presented his granddaughter the blanket in memory of Darren.
After the contest, her lambs were slaughtered. Her meat animals were ‘sponsored’ by companies on a per pound basis. Moba co-sponsored with DeWeerdt Poultry at $8.00 per pound. Claire gets the money to further her interests in agriculture or buy another animal for a new project. Jim Kessler (Service Manager for Moba USA) got the processed meat from Claire’s lambs and it was presented to him by Clair on October 19th 2018.
By Brad Brown - Area Sales Manager US