Off The Beaten Path: Bison Sheep Farmer | VideoCliff Naylor | 11/5/2012
Andrew Grothmann attends classes weekday mornings and in the afternoon spends most of his time at football practice. He starts at fullback for the Bison football team and is majoring in agriculture economics, with a minor in animal science at North Dakota State University.
Saturdays he suits up in green and gold and blasts holes in defensive lines for the Thundering Herd. His athletic scholarship allows him to pursue his other passion, farming.
On Sundays you`ll find him herding sheep at the family farm.
"I enjoy it a lot, it a nice getaway for me from football and school. It`s something I enjoy," he said.
Andrew grew up on a farm raising small grains and cattle, and today he helps manage a herd of 300 sheep with his brother Zach and his dad.
Kevin Grothmann says his son is able to spend more time at the farm during the summer.
"He`s putting in maybe 8-10 hours a week up here during the season."
Andrew`s brother Zach is also majoring in Ag Economics at NDSU, and shares responsibility for taking care of the livestock. Feeding, sheering, vaccinating and trimming hooves are just a few of the chores that need to tended to. Despite the mundane nature of sheep farming, Andrew says he prefers it to football.
"Don`t tell my coach, yah, maybe a little. It`s definitely kind`a a passion of mine, something I really enjoy."
Andrew says his teammates definitely don`t share his enthusiasm for agriculture, many have never set foot on a farm.
"They`re a little scared, they really don`t know what to think. Some want to come up here and I say if you want to come up you`re gonna get your hands dirty and they say, well, I don`t know about that."
There`s no question where Andrew`s headed after his playing days are over. He`ll have his hands and heart involved in agriculture.