19 February 2015

My grandfather's encounter with M. bovis

While searching the 'net for something else, I ran across this blurb about my maternal grandfather.  I knew from oral family history that he had been a very active member of the local Holstein-Friesian Association (later the Holstein Association).  He would have been 31 years old at the time of this story - the archetypal "Norwegian bachelor farmer" joked about so often by Garrison Keillor.

Losing 30 of 40 cattle to tuberculosis would have been a major financial blow, and may be one reason why it was another 6 years before at age 37 he would be able to marry my grandmother. 

These early-generation immigrant Norwegians were a resilient lot, and I was not surprised to see a report further down in the same dairy newspaper that at a subsequent meeting of the Goodhue County Farmers' Progressive Association, grandpa Finseth had presented a paper entitled "My Experience with Tuberculosis."

Perhaps it's from him that I inherited my gene for teaching.

Wikipedia has a good entry on bovine tuberculosis.


  1. Interesting, Stan. Keep up the good familial history work.

  2. How nice to find that blurb about your grandfather. It's always fascinating to find information about our ancestors, isn't it?

    By the way, I also found the item below that of your grandfather in the newspaper interesting. The one that begins "Be quiet and kind with all the animals on the farm." Someone very caring wrote that paragraph. I wonder how many farmers today follow those guidelines.


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