Jill Traut
Jill Traut

Jill Traut

Cold Spring, MN

Academic advisor and family farmer

I grew up on my parents 140-cow Holstein farm. They still operate the farm today; milking cows, raising youngstock, raising and selling beef, and harvesting around 800 acres of corn, alfalfa, soybeans and oats. I have moved off the farm and currently work in higher education as my full-time job. Though not directly involved in the day-to-day operation, I still help with chores and farm decisions.

Yes. My dad and his brother are the primary operators of our farm. My grandpa and grandma originally started the dairy farm and still live on the farm site; they help when needed. My mom is also active on the farm and works off the farm part-time. My brother is also involved in many of the daily farming activities and decisions. He also teaches full-time as an ag teacher at Eden Valley-Watkins High School. My sister helps with chores when she is home from college. We also rely on a vast amount of other relatives to help with chores throughout the year. From baling hay, milking cows, picking rocks, or driving tractors everyone is always willing to pitch in.

Cooking, Photography, Fitness, Carpentry Projects

As a young adult, now more than ever, I see the vital importance of speaking out and being a voice for what farmers do every day. Sharing our story is the best way to share about how food is raised, where it comes from, and its importance in our lives. Just 2% of the U.S. population grows all of our food. I feel a deep calling, as part of that 2%, to do as much as possible to be a voice for agriculture.

My parents, along with my uncle, are the primary owners of the farm. My brother, who works as an ag teacher, also helps on the farm, and is looking into ownership further down the road. My grandparents still live on the farm and are still a part of all the chaos!

I am so proud of how our family has managed to continue the farming lifestyle. We rely on immediate and extended family for most of the work throughout the year. I am also extremely proud of how much each of my family members dedicates themselves to agriculture-related organizations. We all volunteer for multiple organizations that promote the future of agriculture such as FFA, 4-H, County Fair Board, Dairy Clubs and more. I hope that our passion for continued improvement and dedication is contagious to others in our industry.

We are CommonGround

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Karen Larson
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Jocelyn Hicks
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Jill Traut
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Jenifer Goblish
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Emily Beougher
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Debra Johnson
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Bekah Gustafson
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Barb Liebenstein
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Angela Guentzel
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Amy Amberg
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