We are Duayne and Monica Wetherell from rural Mingo Junction, outside of the small village of New Alexandria. Our 25-acre farming operation is on a hard to find flat hilltop consisting of pasture, field, woods, garden, yard and home. We sell alfalfa and grass hay. We both were raised on multigenerational dairy farms, although they were in different areas of the state. Duayne grew up in 4-H showing dairy cows, calves and herd and Monica showed dairy beef cattle.
Monica has always worked as a legal secretary and her last few projects involved landowner leasing in the oil and gas and pipeline industry. We are the proud parents to four wonderful children and since the birth of our youngest in 2014 with medical issues, Monica now is a full-time stay at home mom, and is now more involved in the farming operation. We are involved with Farm Bureau and our community. Duayne is the current president of the Jefferson County Farm Bureau board of trustees and has been a member on the board for the last 15 years as term limits would allow. Both Duayne and Monica are advisers for the local 4-H club.
We both were raised on multigenerational dairy farms, although they were in different areas of the state. Duayne of course grew up on his family dairy farm in the hilly country of Jefferson County, while Monica grew up on her family dairy farm in the flat country of Seneca County. We met each other when we both branched out from our farms and attended Hocking College in southeastern Ohio and graduated with degrees in Natural Resources and Interpretive Services (Duayne) and Office Administration (Monica).
After graduation, Duayne returned to milk full-time on the family farm. Monica knew what she was getting into when she married her dairy farmer in 2001; and anyone who knows the business, knows how important of a role this would play. We started farming together on our 25 acres approximately 15 years ago when we were married. At that time, we added our 25 acres to the existing 200-acre family dairy farm just down the road, upon which Duayne was raised. When the family dairy farm dispersed in 2011 and then after the death of his father in 2012, there were transitions that had to be made. When the family dairy dispersed in 2011 and after the death of his father in 2012, there were transitions that had to be made. Our family went through a very tough time with the loss of Duayne’s father. We cannot encourage you enough to start having conversations about succession planning. Nationwide has created a program that will help farmers work through this very tough topic.
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