They say the younger generation is out of touch with where we get our food.
That is not the case for 17-year-old Raylen Tress. The Golden Secondary School student has been spending his evenings and weekends plowing the fields, getting it ready to be planted so that he and his grandfather can harvest barley later in the season.
“It doesn’t take up all my time, but almost. But it’s what I want to do, I want to get it done,” said Tress, when asked if he had time for anything other than school and farming. He has been spending up to five hours every night after school, and all day on the weekends to get the field ready.
“In a couple weeks it will have to get planted, so there’s a lot of work to be done.”
And as if farming wasn’t difficult enough, young Tress decided to make things even tougher on himself by using antique equipment to get the job done.
“I like working with old antique equipment, I’ve always had an interest in that. I really like it,” he said. “It’s definitely a little harder (to use the antique equipment), you get more breakdowns and stuff like that. But it’s still more fun than buying a new piece of equipment.”
Tress’s grandfather, Raymond Tress, has been a collector of antique equipment of all kinds, which is how his grandson also discovered the passion. He even started collecting himself.
His love for agriculture, however, came from both sides of the family. Raymond Tress grew up on a farm in Parson, which is how his family made a living when he was young. He eventually gave it up for a career in logging, but is passing the hobby down to the next generation.
“My other set of grandparents, they’re from Italy, so that’s how they made their living back in Italy, strictly farming,” said Tress.
With one year left in high school, Tress still isn’t sure what his future holds. His career path may or may not include farming. But for the time being it is what he enjoys doing, and has for the past three years. And he is looking forward to a summer out in the field.