Young farmers look to careers in the future - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Young farmers look to careers in the future

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Future farmers are hoping for blue ribbons at the Wisconsin Valley Fair. They're just teenagers but they're getting real-life experience in a demanding field. 

A day at the fair is more than just fun and games for young farmers. It's also work.

"I look forward to someday taking over our family farm," said Marcus Zernicke, who lives in Wausau.

"I live on a farm so I'm just hoping my future will have farms also. It's what I know," said Abby Thunder, who lives in Wausau.

Teens Zernicke and Thunder prepare their animals for the big show -- hoping to bring home a blue ribbon. But some said the process is just as important as the payoff.

"Just being able to see it from conception to consumption -- that's what I always say. So it's seeing them be born and picking their genes out and then the ultimate goal is to put the best food on someone's plate," said Thunder.

In a time when other teens would rather be surfing the web, some young farmers said they've found their niche.

"I like being outside anyway," said Katelyn Schmoll, who lives in Hatley. "I'm not a video game person so just being outside and having the love for animals, it's easy to draw myself to the barn."

"It's just a different thing everyday that you get to do," said Jared Radcliffe, who lives in Weston. "There's never one day that's the same."

Others said they see new opportunities in farming -- beyond the usual chores.

"Technology is being developed everyday for farming purposes and it's also a business," said Radcliffe. "You have to go out and you have to market your cattle or any kind of livestock that you have and it's a business itself . It's not just a farm where you grow crops every day."

Regardless of what animal they're showing this week, the young farmers hope theirs take the top prize.

Many of the animal competitions start on Thursday, including rabbits, sheep and dairy.

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