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WildAss Farms: A Tale of Resilience, Family, and Farming Innovation

Diarmaid O'Connor

| Cattle & Dairy | General

| Jan 10, 2024

Erin Wildman wears many different hats, but the one she wears as an agri-influencer has collected widespread attention. As a first generation producer, with a background in veterinary medicine; Erin shares her adventures and knowledge on Youtube about what it takes to be a producer, and a mother. Erin is a role model for women in agriculture everywhere. 

As a young girl, age was just a number for Erin. Following in her fathers footsteps, she started her own farrier business at only thirteen years old. Unable to drive herself at the time, she would catch rides to work until getting her license. After becoming a certified professional farrier, traveling for work, and spending time breeding and training show horses, she decided it was time to return home to Morris, Minnesota. This is where Erin met her now husband, Greg.

Greg grew up on a family beef cattle and sheep operation, as well as spending time at several local dairy farms in Villard, Minnesota. At the young age of 18, Greg joined the army and was deployed to Germany and then to Iraq. After proudly serving his country, Greg received a degree in both auto and diesel mechanics, and now works as a mobile diesel mechanic as well as taking on the role as the “on-farm” mechanic. The Wildman goal is for Greg to eventually work full-time at WildAss farms but along with most other agricultural family’s, one family member is working in town. 

While agriculture is a passion of Erins, her most important job is being a mother. Erin has two daughters, Shae and Averi. Shae has bilateral pleural pulmonary stenosis, and supravalvular aortic stenosis. In short, she has a deletion in her elastin gene, causing many heart and lung related issues. Shae is a farm girl, Erin lovingly refers to her as the “chicken lady”, she loves the chickens and all of the baby animals during calving and lambing season. Averi, Erin’s youngest daughter, was diagnosed with down syndrome three days after birth. She is the helper, she mixes feed and is always ready for a tractor ride. She just started walking so keeping an eye on her has become an extra job for mom and dad! Erin spends many hours with the two girls, sharing her love of farming, and teaching them more about agriculture and how it is an essential part of today’s world. 

On Erin’s YouTube page WildAss Farms, she showcases her operation. The videos include footage of beef and dairy cattle, sheep, heritage breed pigs, chickens, cats, and a few dogs. In 2015, Erin and Greg purchased the property they currently live on. They started off with only a shed and a few cows from Greg’s fathers herd. Building from the ground up, they started with a new home and now have several livestock sheds and acres of healthy animals. 

Being a farmer to Erin means producing great quality beef, lamb, and pork; as well as selling calves to local producers. WildAss Farms is a small family operation with the intention of maintaining their small business approach, and supporting local producers. This allows them to keep in-depth records of every animal, as well as develop health and nutritional plans for each member of their herd. Erin is an agricultural advocate and uses her platform to educate and share the adventures of a producer and a thriving woman in agriculture. 

“I love sharing information that may help others. Also I have learned that there are a lot of channels out there who are giving out incorrect information. I want to put out good information that can teach or help even the books with no room for new chapters. I want to show that women in ag are strong, driven and totally capable of all facets of farming.”

Utlizing Technology for a more Efficient Operation

The role of being a wife and a mother is an intense job in itself. Once you add keeping animals fed and healthy to that, it is more than one person can handle. This is why Erin uses a herd management software, such as Herdwatch, to keep all her animal records organized and easy to access. 

YouTube video

“I have not found anything like Herdwatch. I have been looking for a long time for something I can use to help manage my farm and animals. Notebooks tend to grow legs and walk away in my house. I have used the app when we do chute work for our cows. We are lucky in that we don’t have many deaths on the farm, but I have used it for past deaths on a cow. To know where the heifers mom is, etc…”

three app home screens

When giving treatments to her animals, Erin talks about how easy-to-use the app is and how she can enter new data within seconds. A feature Erin has continued to promote is the ability to add notes on each animal, or task. Things to keep an eye on, or a new behavior is easily noted and tracked. Erin is an advocate for keeping full herd records and the importance of having them easily accessible. With Herdwatch, all important data is accessible on one easy-to-use, reliable, digital platform. 

Find out why Erin and over 21,000 Farmers Have Joined by getting started on our 30 Day Trial! 

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