Diesel Mechanics grad continues family farming tradition

Jul 30, 2020 | 9:03 AM

The following is an excerpt from an article originally published by the Dairy Star, titled "Continuing a Dairy Tradition." Full article:

by Andrea Borgerding, Dairy Star 

There is no career Frank Klimek could see himself doing other than dairy farming. He grew up on his family’s 50-cow dairy working alongside his siblings, and so it was a natural progression for him to eventually purchase the farm. His father, Glen, has supported him at every step.

“Growing up, I always enjoyed doing fieldwork,” Klimek said. “I also like seeing the calves grow and eventually get into the barn to milk. I enjoy seeing how they do as cows.”

That joy of seeing life progress on the farm is what kept Klimek dairying throughout his life. After high school graduation in 2007, Klimek attended ATCC to study diesel mechanics, which he knew would help him thrive on the farm.

Klimek stayed living on the farm but also worked as a mechanic in town while attending school. He graduated with a diesel mechanics degree in 2009, and forged a partnership with his father in 2011.

“I took care of 25% of the feed and whatever it took to get 25% of the milk production,” Klimek said. The father-son working relationship flourished in the common interest in keeping the family farm going.

Klimek credits his farming expertise to his dad, who started the family farm in 1977. In 2019, Klimek took over the farm as sole operator.

“It would have been 42 years of him milking cows,” Klimek said of Glen. “He reluctantly semi-retired last year after he banged up his knee. It forced him to slow down.”

To help save on operating costs, Klimek puts his diesel mechanics skills to use, completing much of the repair work on tractors and other machinery.

Despite the uncertainty of the industry, Klimek resolves to continue dairying. His wife, Lindsey, and their four children appreciate life on the farm. Lindsey helps feed calves but also works full time as a Medical Administrative Specialist & Medical Coding instructor at ATCC.

“I have no regrets,” Klimek said. “I’m just hoping I can make it lifetime work. I always wanted to take it over to keep it going. It’s nice to keep it in the family.”

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