Farmer by day, surgical technician at night
MISHICOT - The Havlovitz Farm has always been a hub of activity, a place for family and friends to gather and share stories about the 100-year-old farm.
“It is nice to keep it in the family as opposed to selling it,” said Matt Havlovitz. “Sometimes we’ll find an old horseshoe out in the field and we’re like, ‘Hey, this probably came from my grandpa or even great-grandpa.’”
Havlovitz, along with his parents, Jack and Lois, were honored for having a Century Farm at the past Wisconsin State Fair. The Mishicot farm celebrated its 100th year this year.
“It was neat talking to all different farmers around the state and what they do, talking about the same struggles that everybody has … it was a good, happy day,” Havlovitz said. “There was a big sense of pride. It is a big accomplishment … it was really cool and it just makes you feel really good.”
Havlovitz and his father manage yearly crops of corn, wheat and oats on their 80-acre farm. Havlovitz lives in the house his grandparents lived in, while his parents live just down the road.
In addition to the crops, Havlovitz also takes care of a flock of chickens, from which he gets fresh eggs, and a hive of bees that provide honey. He said he’d like to get some addition animals for the farm, like cows or pigs.
“I just liked being around the animals, I always enjoyed that stuff,” he said. “We don’t have that anymore, and I miss it.”
As the fourth generation of farmers in his family, Havlovitz spent his life in the fields and around animals. His grandfather and father were dairy farmers, then eventually moved on to hogs, but now the small farm is sustained by the cash crops.
“Grandpa started with horses and, as time went on, we moved on to diesel tractors — just bigger machines to get done faster,” Havlovitz said. “There have been a couple additions to the barn. Overall, the farm hasn’t changed much from the beginning.”
Havlovitz has no plans for any major changes, either, except for possibly expanding by 20 acres or so.
“I’d like to keep it going by cash-cropping it, or, like I said, to get some more animals over here. … It’s kind of sad seeing the barns empty,” he said.
Of all the generations of farmers in his family, Havlovitz is the first to make a living outside the farm. By day, he helps his father in the fields and takes care of his chickens and honeybees. By night, he is a surgical technician at a hospital in Green Bay. Havlovitz said his family has always been very supportive of his decisions.
Besides the farm life and working as a surgical tech, Havlovitz also enjoys going to farm and tractor shows all over the state. He also collects tractor models and displays them in his home.
When the day is done, what he enjoys most is coming home to the quiet and warm home.
“It’s a nice, quiet area, nice and warm,” Havlovitz said. “This has always been a nice, welcoming place. Everybody says that.”
Living in his grandparents' home is a constant reminder of his family’s legacy, his grandfather’s stories and his grandmother’s cooking. He said the farm has always been, and still is, a place where his family can gather for any occasion and fill the walls with talking and laughter.