From a Dairy Farm to DC - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

From a Dairy Farm to DC

From a Dairy Farm to DC

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It's never too late to take a new path in your career.

Luke and Julie Martin --- currently of Anamoose --- are proof of that.

From teaching in Slovakia, to dairy farming in North Dakota, to compiling statistics for the Department of Labor in Washington D.C. --- the Martins are seeing the world through career choices.

The winding country roads of Anamoose, North Dakota, are a far cry from the city streets in Washington D.C.

But for the Martin family of six, the two are equal in one element: adventure.

(Julie Martin, Anamoose Resident) "I almost feel like we have a variety of lives. We had a good time. We lived in Montana for awhile. Slovakia. We were in the Peace Corps and Moracco. I think it just builds your character."

Born and raised in Montana and Wyoming, five years ago, Luke and Julie Martin traded teaching careers in Slovakia for a dairy farm in North Dakota.

(Julie Martin, Anamoose Resident) "We were in the area and saw that this place was for sale and the way to make it work we found was to have a dairy so we gave it a go and now we're just ready for something new."

'Something new' is arguably as big a change as leaving Europe for North Dakota.

Luke has accepted a job with the Bureau of Labor Statistics - a branch of the US Department of Labor.

He'll be using his background in economics to work in the food division of the Consumer Price Index.

He'll be responsible for measuring inflation specifically on food.

(Luke Martin, Anamoose Resident) "I haven't seen a cow in DC yet. My job is still related to food and it certainly gives me some insight that the other people that are doing similar jobs, like the guy doing meat prices has probably never been around a cow. I think it does give me some insight there that's helpful."

With four kids ages 9 months to eight years, the Martins are giving their kids unique insights as well.

(Julie Martin, Anamoose Resident) "We want to expose them to a variety of cultures and people and I think we're getting a good start on that. We just want to give them opportunities to see how the world works. We like to travel."

From Slovakia to North Dakota to Washington D.C.

And what's more --- during the five years on the dairy farm, the Martins invited volunteers from around the world to take in the farm experience.

(Julie Martin, Anamoose Resident) "You meet a lot of neat people and give them the opportunity to have a farm experience which is kind of hard to do these days."

Online through a site called 'woofers,' volunteers from France, Rhode Island, Russia and Pennsylvania spent summers with the Martins.

(Julie Martin, Anamoose Resident) "Although we didn't get to travel much while we were here, we did kind of bring the world to us."

(Luke Martin, Anamoose Resident) "We had never owned a cow or driven a tractor. I had an academic background but no practical experience, so we've learned a lot. A lot of the practical side of life. And I think being a dairy farmer there's a work ethic there that you don't get at many other jobs."

(Julie Martin, Anamoose Resident) "It's going to be very different. Going from not hearing anybody or seeing anybody very much out here to a very densely populated area. But I think there's a lot of opportunity in that. We're kind of excited for some warmer weather."

(Luke Martin, Anamoose Resident) "There's a wide variety of opportunity out there. I see it here sometimes, people in North Dakota think all there is is North Dakota. Now being in DC for two months, I'm amazed at the number of people who think the only place in the world is the east coast. There's a wide world out there. I think it's worth while to see as much as you can."

(Julie Martin, Anamoose Resident) "There's a lot to see in the world. What we've found, people are the same everywhere. It's just taking the opportunity to see other cultures. I never thought I'd live in North Dakota. But now that I'm here. It's beautiful. People are wonderful. I think everyone should either travel or invite, like the volunteers that we had, we gave them the opportunity to see North Dakota as well. I really enjoyed living here."

The country roads are leading them down a new path, and like each place they've been, Julie says a piece of her heart will stay in North Dakota.

In Anamoose, Jennifer Thorgramson, KX News.

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