On The Farm: City Kid Turns Farm Boy - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

On The Farm: City Kid Turns Farm Boy

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Farming is usually passed down from generation to generation, but that's not always the case. Typically, fathers teach their sons the skills to be successful in the farming industry. It's rare to hear of someone who has no experience in agriculture becoming a farmer, but that exactly what's happened south of here in Douglas.

Robert Finken has been farming for 36-years. He took over his family's farm in Douglas after graduating high school. Many things have changed during his farming career, but there's one thing that's always stayed the same.


“That's one of the biggest hurdles that we have as a farmer: Getting all of the work done,” says Finken.

But now, thanks to Robert's daughter Holly, help on the farm and getting all the work done are two things he doesn't need to worry about.


“My buddy and I were trying to set her up with actually my roommate at the time, another suite mate. And it just so happened that we got to talking and eventually the ball got rolling and here I am today,” said Chris Sobieck.

Sobieck a city kid from Minnesota met Holly Finken while attending NDSU in Fargo. Sobieck was majoring in engineering and had no background in agriculture. After dating Holly for a few years, the two got engaged and are now married. The city kid has turned farmer.

“The sense of freedom, and not sitting in front of a computer from nine to five, that's why I'm out here.  I enjoy what I'm doing, I'm fully committed to it, and I wouldn't trade it for anything,” he said.

With an engineering background, Sobieck quickly picked up the farm equipment, but when it came to being out in the fields, he relied on Finken. The two bring their own unique skills to the farm.

“Communication is probably our biggest asset between the two of us. It's really easy, it comes natural,” says Sobieck. “The younger generation is so good with technology, it's like second nature to them. It's not that I haven't done that stuff, but I try to turn all of the technology issues over to him because it's so easy for them to do it,” says Finken.

Their story is important in another sense. Sobieck provides a much-needed surge of young blood in an industry, where the average age of a North Dakota farmer is 57. The younger generation is slowly coming back to the farm, and that's good news for Finken who knows farming is about investing in the future.

“It's a huge investment, buying equipment or buildings. A lot of those things are long-term investments and it's nice to know that we've got the next generation going to make use of it,” says Finken.

And it looks like the Finken family will be growing again. Chris and Holly are expecting their first child to be born this August.

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