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Northern roots

Agriculture.com Staff 01/04/2007 @ 10:49pm

Hard as it is for some folks to imagine, Anthony Anderson's love of farming grew out of moving irrigation pipe as a kid. Anderson grew up on the edge of Erie, Pennsylvania, but spent several summers on relatives' farms in Montana and North Dakota.

"I usually spent most of the summer in Kalispell, Montana, moving irrigation pipe and working with potatoes," he says. "Then Dad and I would spend a week or 10 days helping with wheat harvest where he grew up in North Dakota.

"The whole rest of the year, I looked forward to those two months I would be out here getting worked to death," says Anthony, who now farms near Englevale, North Dakota. That's in the southeastern corner of the state where his ancestors homesteaded 100 years ago.

Gradually, Anthony's passion for farming won out over his early plans to become a veterinarian. He enrolled in the pre-vet program at Penn State University, but by the end of his freshman year, he decided he wanted to work in production agriculture. Coincidentally, his wife-to-be, Amy Kramer of Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, was also a pre-vet student who went to vet school at Iowa State University after the couple started farming in North Dakota.

"We headed to North Dakota the day after we graduated in 1999," says Anthony. Amy adds, "I always said I wanted to live in Montana, so I figured North Dakota was close enough."

Hard as it is for some folks to imagine, Anthony Anderson's love of farming grew out of moving irrigation pipe as a kid. Anderson grew up on the edge of Erie, Pennsylvania, but spent several summers on relatives' farms in Montana and North Dakota.

Although his family's roots ran deep in North Dakota, there wasn't any family land available for him to farm. Anthony worked for an uncle and cousin for two years, and he farmed a quarter section of land he had purchased right before he graduated from Penn State.

So in 2001, she started the four-year veterinary medicine program at Iowa State University in Ames, 550 miles away. She moved to Ames in August and wasn't able to go home until Thanksgiving. "That was a long time to be away," she says. "And Anthony couldn't come down because he was harvesting."

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