My husband and I started our logging business, Shrontz Farm Logging, shortly after we were married over 25 years ago. Brad’s philosophy is when a door of opportunity opens you have two choices: either close it and always wonder where it would have taken you or you walk through the open door and take a ride of your life. The opportunity presented itself when L.L. Johnson’s Lumber needed a truck to haul logs from their jobs to the lumber yard. So, with about $20 in the bank and an old Meijer 1970’s Chevy Titan cab over Semi that we used around the farm our adventure began Shrontz Farm Logging business started and we were unsure about what we were getting ourselves into, hoping we could make a living. Brad started with hauling logs off the jobs and then they needed a cutting crew. Brad knew nothing about the forestry business but this didn’t stop his determination. I might have thought he was crazy. We hired a true old timer lumberjack, Denny, and so began Brad’s apprenticeship.
Over the years we leaned from the best in the industry and our logging business went through many growing phases. We upgraded equipment when the lumbering business was good and at one point had three crews cutting. It was a great supplement to our farming business when that wasn’t as profitable. Brad has trained other’s over the years to work in the woods.
As our son,Trent grew up he had the same passion for the woods and was beginning to run the skidder pulling out logs working with his dad to learn the trade.
We went through some good times and plenty of rough times; injuries, debt, breakdowns, weather, low pay rates, etc. Always managing to work through the hardships and celebrating when it was good. We always hoped that Trent would want to join the business but it was not meant to be as he was killed in a quad accident at the young age of 14. It was extremely hard for Brad to find that passion after Trent passed away but he pushed on. It became more and more difficult to keep it going for a variety of reasons but as we moved through another phase of our life another door opened and we chose once again to enter. We made a difficult decision to sell the logging equipment and accept the opportunity to expand the family trucking business with our daughter and her son-in-law. Our daughter had always had a passion for semi-trucks and bought one for herself, hired a driver and began her business then we joined forces. Along with expanding the trucking business, Old Indian Creek Farm rustic wedding venue was born and now begins another journey in our lives.
Before, Brad hangs up his chainsaw and helmet though he accepted an unusual logging job, one that involves skidding with draft horses. A local farmer has a woods that needs harvesting so it can allow the young trees to mature. They hired Brad to cut the woods because he was willing to work with them so they could skid their logs out with their own horses and the local draft horse club. So, today I watched as he skillfully fell some large white oak trees and teams of draft horses pull the logs out of the woods. One very special team was a pair of black and white drafts, Chance and Misty. the owner behind the reins guiding the team, our daughter Ashley.
Although we dreamed of our son, Trent taking an interest in the logging business we never once thought that our daughter would one day be skidding out logs from her dad’s job site with a pair of horses.
So, has a door closed or has it opened?
Maybe, it’s just a new phase!
Misty and Chance love the chance to work whether it’s pulling a wagon for a special event or skidding out logs. And well, our daughter, Ashley loves the excuse to get out of the office at the farm and take a break from the trucking business to work with her horses.