Thursday, March 13, 2008
Hellwig ‘moves up’ to Marshall County land
By BARRY BURLESON
When Peter Hellwig moved to 3189 Cayce Road two and a half years ago, he said, “There was nothing here.”
Today, there’s a lot.
There’s Sylvester, the pet goat, plus milking cows, beef cows, chickens and more goats.
The 76-year-old moved to Marshall County from the Quinn Road area in neighboring Tennessee.
“It was too expensive to farm that ground,” Hellwig said, “so I sold it and moved here.
“I moved up. I moved to Mississippi to move up.”
His wife died seven years ago. He’s alone, except for a housekeeper who cooks meals, and his many, many animals.
“I go every morning and every evening and check my cows,” Hellwig said. “You have to be dedicated.”
He is a native of Germany and now a naturalized citizen of the United States.
He did a three-year apprenticeship in Germany – “lived on a farm and did all the work.
Later he decided, “I wanted to go see what the U.S. looked like.”
Hellwig moved to New York state on a visitor’s visa and milked cows there for a year, 1955-56.
He then attended college in Germany for one year instead of four years in the U.S.
“I could get the same education there in a year and it cost no money,” Hellwig said. “The government paid for all schooling.
“I made my hobby into my job.”
He returned to the U.S., moving to Tennessee as a herdsman in 1957. He worked that job for two years and later did artificial breeding for the public.
He married in 1961. His wife’s dad was also German.
Customers and friends keep the gravel road into Hellwig’s Marshall County farm busy.
“They come from Hernando, Senatobia, Memphis – just from all over,” Hellwig said.
They buy such food as beef, eggs, goat meat and milk.
“Raw milk is sold to families who can’t eat processed milk,” Hellwig said.
He raises steers to 1,200-1,400 pounds and “a place in Grand Junction cuts them up and they’re ready to go in the freezer.”
The 150 acres near Coldwater Bottom are his life. He doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
“I’ll do it until I can’t do it anymore,” Hellwig said.
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