For over a century, the Welker family has farmed land just outside of Shelby, but never in their wildest dreams did they think their Montana farm would become known around the world.
“You know, I honestly don’t think I take it to heart as I should,” Nick Welker said. “It’s just kind of like, ‘Oh yeah, the farm’s been here 100 years, my family’s been here 100 years.’ It really doesn’t register to me, because I grew up in it.”
According to Nick, when you farm, you add years to your history.
“We gotta keep going. We can’t fail. We can’t fail at this point,” he said. “It’s been in the family this long. You can’t make a stupid mistake. You’ve gotta keep going.”
For Nick, sometimes looking forward means looking back. In 2011, he acknowledged that the farm was almost at its 100th anniversary.
One hundred years of passing down the knowledge of three generations in the making has taken root in a digital age.
“I would love to make a video of our farm for our 100-year anniversary,” Nick said. “I didn’t know where it was going, but I just kept doing it and then in 2016, it was time to do another farming video.”
That video has now racked up over 1.5 million views with YouTube subscribers now over 100,000.
What started out as a way to have a little fun and maybe buy some new camera gear has, in a sense, turned into a second job.
“The question is, ‘Where is this going? Is it going to stop here or is there going to be more?’ I mean, we’ve actually had a couple pretty good sized producers come and look at our place for a potential show. In my mind, I just figure at some point in time, we’re going to become old news. People are going to know Welker Farms, it’s just not going to be the hot thing and it’s going to die off.”
The family has been featured on the National Geographic channel, RFD-TV, in the Progressive Farmer magazine and the Norwegian magazine Traktor, and most recently on Farming Simulator 17.
-Reported by Jason Laird/MTN News