Meet Brittany Schreiber, RN
RHI Outreach Health Coordinator. Registered Nurse (RN). Farmer’s Wife. Mother. Horse Enthusiast.
Two turns off the hectic, multi-lane Highway 29 and one mile down the quiet two-lane Wuertzburg Road in Athens, Wisconsin, a beautiful sign welcomes passer-byers, friends and family to Schreiber Acres, a multi-family corporation comprised of two families, 600 acres, barns, cattle, and a lifetime of memories.
Here resides the hard-working and growing family of our very own Outreach Health Coordinator, Brittany Schreiber, RN. Just one farmhouse down reside her in-laws.
The family black Labrador Garth energetically greets me as I pull into the gravel driveway and we immediately tour Brittany and husband Bart’s welcoming and tidy, built-from-scratch 2012 country home. It’s appropriately decorated with a country-living decor infused with a modern twist. I immediately knew farming is a way of life in the Schreiber household, not merely just a decor theme selected out of a magazine. A “Cowgirl Kitchen” sign hangs above the stove and elegant dried wheat stalks, a decoration from their September 2012 wedding (which, interestingly, was exactly the one year anniversary of their first date) adorns atop their kitchen cabinets. These are just a few details that catch my eye among numerous framed memories celebrating the couple’s engagement, family life and special moments.
Overall, Bart & Brittany currently raise 30 steer, 65 heifers for a local farmer, and cash crop 600 total acres of corn, beans, wheat, and alfalfa. As for leisure, they hobby farm.
Strong Pride of Farming.
When asked, “what about farming makes you proud?”, Brittany’s quick response is:
“Farming is family-based and there’s a lot of pride in what we do because we provide corn, soybeans, and wheat for food consumption”
And it’s important to her that people are aware of where their food comes from – that it’s the product of farmer’s hard work and sacrifice, not something that magically appears on the food shelves.
But, it takes teamwork. Both Brittany and Bart work outside of the home – Bart at a local implement dealer and Brittany at Rural Health Initiative, utilizing her nursing degree to provide convenient and confidential on-site preventive health screenings to local farmers, agribusinesses, and agriculturists in Marathon County.
“Farm life, primarily due to the schedule and reliance of weather, is not always family-friendly” says Brittany, so they rely on each other’s teamwork and dedication to get the work done.
And while Brittany credits the majority of the farm work to Bart, she isn’t shy or unwilling to throw on a pair of cowboy boots, jump in the tractor, and lend a hand.
After all, farming is nothing new to the Schreibers. In fact, it runs deep in their blood and was an integral part of both their childhood. Brittany grew up on a farm with her parents, two older brothers, and family horses in the quaint town of Tomahawk, Wisconsin. Within a month prior to Brittany’s birth, the family endured a devastating farm fire during a frigid winter night, resulting in a total loss. None of the animals survived. Her parents transitioned from milking cows to raising steers, her dad sought employment at the Tomahawk Paper Mill, and they maintained a hobby farm for multiple years. Brittany’s parents and brother now own Twin Creek Cattle Company, a 100 head rotational grazing beef operation. Throughout her youth, Brittany remained active on the farm, participated in 4-H, and was involved with volleyball, basketball, and softball while attending Tomahawk High School.
Brittany shared a special memory from her youth on the family farm while helping her dad and uncle with chores. As a self-proclaimed chatty kiddo, Brittany recalls her uncle offering her a $1 bill for 5 minutes of silence. Let’s just say, her piggy bank didn’t grow that day. She laughs while sharing the story with me, then quickly credits the same uncle for introducing her to chocolate cake and Mountain Dew, two treats she still enjoys to this very day.
Bart, described by Brittany as hard-working, quiet and funny was born and raised in Athens. He also grew up on a dairy farm, the exact farmhouse neighboring their current house. In addition to his full-time job, he takes care of the farm chores, field work, and maintenance on equipment. His parents retired from milking cows three years ago but remain active with chores.
Horse Enthusiast. Meet Huey and Holly, the two Palomino Quarter Horses near and dear to Brittany’s heart.
Just beyond the patriotic “Welcome Y’All” sign affixed to a rustic wooden chair at the entrance of the horse barn are neatly stacked saddles, bridles hanging on the wall, and a collage of horse-themed photos, perfectly appropriate for the two stunning and mild-mannered Palomino Quarter horses. Huey – a grey and white 8 year old – and Holly – a golden 18 year old – eagerly awaiting visitors just beyond the gate.
Brittany’s passion for horses dates back to her childhood years showing horses in 4-H, trained in both English and Western riding styles. When schedules allow, she and a few girlfriends from a local horse riding group, pack up the trailer and compete in local competitions, always with the hopes of placing and, without a doubt, sharing some laughs. As a member of the North Central Wisconsin’s Horsemans Association (NCWHA), she enjoys the variety of shows offered and says participating is a great way to stay involved in the community and keep her skills fresh. On other days, she enjoys taking a few hours in the evening to ride Huey in the arena, conveniently located in her backyard.
Passing Along the Tradition. In 2013, they were blessed with their first-born, daughter Bailey, who with her energetic personality and permanent smile, will be 2 years old in August. Despite being extremely shy, she’s a very active girl with a permanent smile on her face who loves animals. She’s not shy around Huey and Holly and can often be found at Brittany’s side in the stable helping groom them. The love radiating from Brittany as she described her joy of watching Bailey transition from one stage [of life] to another, was unmistakable.
“Just when I think she’s in the funnest stage,” Brittany says, “the next one [stage] becomes even more fun.”
Baby Schreiber #2 is anticipated to arrive October 2015, and they’re keeping the gender a secret…even they don’t know.
“It’s a fun surprise. We didn’t find out [the gender] with Bailey, so we’re doing the same this time, too.”
Merging Professional & Personal. When asked what she likes best about her job as an Outreach Health Coordinator with Rural Health Initiative (RHI):
“My role at RHI encompasses what I personally enjoy – farming – with my professional career – nursing. Not every nurse can do nursing at a farm.
I like the clientele that I get to see – they are genuine and hard-working. And I’m there because they chose to schedule an appointment, not because they have to.
I get to do different things [than most nursing positions], and there’s no negativity in this job. My clients [RHI participants], mostly, want to get better. There’s a willingness. People seem enlightened after the appointment, and I feel like I’ve taught them something. And, the flexibility. It allows me the balance of work and my family.”
About RHI Staff Stories: Life Beyond the Title
A behind-the-scenes project aimed at sharing stories of daily life and inspiration of our RHI staff. Program Manager Shaya Hintz heads the project.
I’m always in for a special treat when working on Staff Stories. It’s a great opportunity to spend an hour or two with staff, learn new things about them, their family life, and their tie to agriculture. In turn, I get to share what I’ve learned. – Shaya