Edsel, 90, from Brookdale Fond du Lac in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was born into a farming family. He has been working on a farm ever since he could walk. Edsel’s parents ran a small, 160 acre dairy farm. By the age of 7, Edsel was hand milking the cows. When Edsel’s father fell ill during the depression, he stayed home from school to ensure the farm continued to run smoothly. Edsel was so dedicated to farming that he never graduated high school. He made it through the 8th grade before he became a full time farmer. Edsel Wished he could visit a large farm to reminisce about his time on his own farm, as well as see new advances in farming.
As an adult, Edsel bought the neighbors’ farm right next door to his parents. When his parents got old and could no longer care for their farm, Edsel bought their farm as well. Leasa, Edsel’s daughter, said, “…with me, mom, dad and my grandparents, we were able to work the farm.” The farm consisted of cows, sheep, pigs, greenfields and cornfields. In 2009, Edsel was diagnosed with kidney failure and could no longer care for his land or animals. As a result, Edsel was forced to sell the land. Unfortunately, his farm has since been torn down.
Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale Senior Living were excited to send Edsel, Leasa and Brookdale associate Angela to Vir-Clar Farms. Angela said this wish lit “up a world that Edsel had been missing.” After 7 long years, Edsel not only had the opportunity to get back out on a farm and do what he loves most, but also reminisce with the Vir-Clar Farms owners, Katie and Gary. Edsel knew Katie’s grandparents and enjoyed sharing his fond memories with them. As Leasa said, “Farming is where his heart lays—with the land, animals and fieldwork. Being a farmer, it’s in his heart.”
Photo Credit: Anna Page Photography