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Sandy Horn: A full life on and off the farm
BROOKLYN - Sandy Horn has been involved in her community as she worked alongside her family on their dairy farm for more than 50 years, and now enjoys her days spent with friends, family and traveling whenever and wherever she can.

She was born in Green Bay but grew up mostly in Milwaukee - most definitely a city girl. She attended Bay View High School and graduated in 1959 as an involved student who played volleyball, was part of the swim team and was a member of the honor society.

She worked at Allen-Bradley for two years before attending college. She met her husband, Richard, who encouraged his bride-to-be to go on to school. He was in the Coast Guard at the time, and eventually they both attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned their degrees. Although Richard was also a city person, he was going to school for agriculture. Horn was studying to be a teacher. She graduated in education in 1964, the same year the couple married.

She landed a job in Madison teaching fifth grade but it wasn't long before the couple started a family. Horn stayed home with the children and helped on the dairy farm. They were renting a farm in Waunakee at that time before renting a farm in New Glarus and eventually buying a farm in Green County. They settled in Brooklyn Township, in the Albany school district, where they reside today.

Although she substitute taught a little, Horn said she was happy to be home with her three children. She helped with all of the farm duties over the last five decades, except milking, saying that being a city girl must've always kept her leery of getting under a cow.

"It was great," Horn said of life on the farm. "The kids worked alongside us and it was wonderful."

Her son and two daughters wanted to participate in 4-H and Horn stepped up to become their leader. They took part in an exchange program where a family from Japan stayed with them and their daughter went back to Japan to stay with the same family. Today, Horn's son is hosting that same family's children from Japan.

Her involvement didn't end there. She was asked to be a citizen member of the Green County Human Services board and has served on the board for the past 16 years. She also became a volunteer driver for ADRC after becoming a member and getting involved in the Long Term Support branch. She enjoyed being a part of marketing for ADRC to make others aware of them. Her term limit was reached last year, although she still volunteers to drive when needed.

"It's one way I can help," she said. "I enjoy driving."

She was also asked by a friend to help one year at the World Dairy Expo part time and has stayed to help for 19 years as the Dairy Cattle Coordinator. Although she's retired from that, she still gets called and doesn't hesitate to help out.

"I think I have a hard time saying no," she laughed.

She has also been involved with the Modern Makers, a homemaker club with about 10 members that began more than 30 years ago. Originally, the group made items and took on projects, but today, the group of friends from all different areas often takes day trips together and gathers monthly during most of the year.

She was also a member of the Federal Housing Administration committee, which now no longer exists, where she helped with loan applications for farmers.

While her children were in school, Horn also served for several years on the Albany school board.

"I love to be involved and I love people," she said. Although it can be stressful, she said the rewards were greater.

"I think it's important for others to get involved," she said, noting that term limits are a good idea to welcome new people for a change and different ideas.

Traveling has been a big part of Horn's life with her husband. Once the children were grown and the farm wasn't calling as much, the couple has taken advantage of traveling and have been to Germany more than 20 times. The couple visited Germany while their son was in the Army and stationed there. Her son worked for a farmer there at the time and the families have since become great friends. Her husband enjoys planning the trips; he speaks German and they enjoy being able to go where more typical tourists might shy away from.

"I just enjoy the people, I think. I enjoy talking with the people and have such a nice time when we're there," she said.

She has also been to Switzerland, Hawaii and Alaska, to name just a few others. Horn enjoys traveling with her sister once a year as well.

Her son Douglas has taken over the farm for the most part, although Horn takes care of the bookwork and her husband still helps regularly.

Today, she keeps busy with her church in Evansville and enjoys reading in her free time. She often carries a book in her purse to pass the time and loves to meet neighbors for coffee and lunch when she can, as well as attending the Y for water exercises. She volunteers at Turner Hall during some of its banquets as well.

But most of all, she said she enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.

After the farm life of late dinners and early morning milkings, she said she's happy to enjoy a little more freedom now.

"It's been so great - all of the connections we've made," she said.