Leading up to Thanksgiving, it’s “Thank a Farmer” Week and I am highlighting agriculture producers that have made a special impact on my life. I am sure that it is no surprise that I am thankful for my father, Curt Rincker. He is the Agriculture Division Chairman at Lake Land College (“LLC”) in Mattoon, Illinois during the day and then comes home to run Rincker Simmentals.
It’s really hard to fit in a blog how my father has impacted the agriculture industry and my life. I grew up on a beef cattle farm and from a very early age I remember helping my father in the barn and helping him check cows in the pasture. Sometimes I was more interested in catching fireflies and tadpoles than looking at the cows but this part of my childhood is a big part of who I am today. I would come home from kindergarten and lead a heifer on a halter tied up to a tree in our front yard or sit alongside my father on the tractor. Sometimes I would help my dad bail hay or walk beans or help keep a calf warm in the middle of the night that was born in a blizzard.
As I got older I began understanding more about what my father did. I started showing cattle in 4-H when I was eight years old and it was always really important to my dad that I understand the cattle industry. Though my dad enjoyed success, as a teacher, it was part of his nature to want to teach me about the beef business and the show industry. Growing up I would sometimes go to LLC with dad and sit in his classes for a day. My dad also used to be the livestock judging coach at LLC and I remember many nights listening to reasons on a straw bale with him.
All of this feels like a lifetime ago but I am still very much my father’s daughter. The older I get the more I respect my parents and what they have accomplished. It is challenging to juggle a family, a successful career, and a growing cattle operation. I look up to my father tremendously as a livestock judge. He not only has a great eye for cattle but he is an eloquent speaker on the microphone. But I really think Dad does it because he loves seeing young people involved in the livestock industry. In his position at LLC, I believe that he has attracted many students to attend college when they may have not gone otherwise. He is never too busy to make time for students. Furthermore, as a cattle producer, he is progressive and environmentally conscious. He works hard at what he does and is very good at it. He is a talented educator and leader. He is made a true difference in the agriculture industry in Illinois and I am proud to be “Curt Rincker’s daughter.”
If you want to also thank my dad for what he has done for the agriculture industry you can find his contact information here. (My dad is pretty cool- he finally joined LinkedIn so you can also connect with him here). On another note, if you are also an alum of LLC’s agriculture program, you can join the facebook group here.