Typical senior pictures are filled with bright-toothed teens in their football jerseys and band uniforms, or posing on a chair with a rose or in front of a city skyline with a blurry, glamour-shot background.
These photos are meant to capture a specific moment in a teen’s life, when things are about to change more than they ever have before as most head off to college and begin their adulthood.
But for 18-year-old Connor Fehr, what he does now is very similar to what he’ll do later; he loves his family’s farm and the work he will continue to do there and wanted to include that in his senior photo.
And so Fehr, who is being forced to finish out his senior year at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, cleaned up and waxed the family tractor for the occasion, deciding that would be the ideal backdrop.
When the time came to actually take the picture, Fehr also saw the combine nearby, complete with a MacDon header, and thought that may make for an even more memorable image.
“Well, I’m just a country boy and my brother took a picture with the tractor and I loved that picture, so I wanted one with the combine, too,” Fehr says, explaining some farm staff were working with the MacDon header at the time.
“I pulled it up and we stole it from them for 15 minutes to take some pictures,” he laughs.
The photo is a testament to Fehr’s dedication for farming and the family legacy that has brought him to this point.
Fehr is the youngest of five siblings, and his family owns and runs a farm just a few miles outside of West Bend, Iowa, where they grow mostly beans and corn as well as some small seeded crops like oats and hay on their more than 2,000 acres (800 hectares) of land.
Fehr has been working these fields since he was a kid, learning how to farm organically from his dad and uncles.
“It’s definitely a lot more work, a lot harder work to farm organically,” he says. “It takes the whole summer, you’re cultivating. You’re not just spraying it once, it takes a lot more time. It’s more like how they used to do it back in the day.”
"We do a lot of work in the shop, and that is what I love doing. I plan to further my education to better my engineering skills."
Fehr plans to attend the Iowa State University in the fall to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering, a passion of his he would like to improve his skillset in.
“We do a lot of work in the shop, and that is what I love doing. I plan to further my education to better my engineering skills.” Fehr says.
And while college does offer an opportunity to explore a different path, Fehr is happy to stay on the road he’s already on and plans to continue to work on the family farm once he graduates in a few years.
“I’ve grown up raising all of our crops so that’s pretty much the plan after university,” says Fehr.