In 2019, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) started a project to produce a video that focuses on the people who contribute to the wholesome quality of U.S. wheat for dozens of different food products around the world. Together with our creative partners, we traveled to Kansas, Ohio, Washington, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Oregon to capture the images and words of U.S. wheat farm families, and other participants along the supply chain, including wheat breeders, grain elevator managers, grain inspectors, exporters, and more. After a few delays, including COVID-19, a small team was recently able to travel to Montana, the final stop on our list, to visit with the Hucke family during harvest.
Angie and Will Hucke are third generation farmers and ranchers from Geraldine, about 40 miles (65 km) east of Great Falls in Montana’s “Golden Triangle,” where they grow winter wheat, spring wheat, hay barley and occasionally rotate in yellow peas. Previously, Angie had a corporate job and opted to leave that lifestyle to return to the family farm.
“I enjoyed working in the corporate world, I was able to learn from the most amazing women in that job,” said Angie. “But the office grind was hard for me, doing the same things day by day was not for me. I enjoy the new challenge that each day brings on the farm.”
Part of returning to the family farm meant being involved in their community and raising their kids, son, Arrow (11), and daughter, Jetta (9) in an environment where they learn about “hard work, taking pride in a job well down and learning that work can be fun.” This year, Arrow drove the grain cart – his first time being able to help with harvest, and it was clear how excited and proud he was. Both are very involved in 4-H, rodeo and helping with chores on the farm.
“The passion I have seen my kids develop for agriculture is what makes this so amazing,” said Angie.
Our team spoke with Angie about the importance of women in agriculture with hands-on roles and the obstacles faced when working on a multi-generational family farm.
“Communication is key, but often, that is the piece that is the hardest,” said Angie. “You also have to continually build trust and have a little faith that it is all going to work out.”
Along with being featured in USW’s video telling the story of the U.S. wheat supply chain – which is due to be published in a few weeks – the Hucke family will be featured in its own video as a part of the USW “Stories from the Wheat Farm” series. So far, USW has published three videos in that series – Kansas, Ohio, and Washington – and have videos from North Dakota, Oklahoma and Oregon scheduled to publish in the coming weeks.
USW wants to thank Montana Wheat and Barley Committee Executive Vice President Cassidy Marn for her help arranging our visit. And thank you to the Hucke family for giving their time and effort to share their story at one of their busiest, but most hopeful, times of the year.