Cael Carlson: Family and Farming

While wrestling has been an instrumental part of Cael Carlson’s family over the years, there is still one thing that runs deeper in the Carlson blood: the family farm.

About two hours west of the Twin Cities is where you will find the Carlson dairy farm in Pennock, Minnesota, a farm that consists of over 1800 Holstein dairy cows and was founded by Cael’s great, great grandfather in 1891. Since then, the farm has been maintained by Cael’s grandfather, who wrestled in high school, as well as his dad and uncle, Chad and Carl, who combined for three Minnesota state titles and both competed for the Gophers in the 1990s.

Now, Cael, who has two state titles in his own right for Willmar High School, has every intention of following in his family’s footsteps and becoming a fifth-generation dairy farmer. Before that, he hopes to build on an impressive debut as a true freshman in 2019-20. Competing unattached, Carlson compiled a 17-5 record with nine pins and an individual title at the Don Parker Open.

A double major in agricultural business management and animal science with an emphasis in dairy production, the redshirt freshman is taking advantage of his athletic and academic pursuits in hopes of using his newfound knowledge back home on the farm, fulfilling a passion that has been instilled in him ever since he was a little kid. Continue reading at →

Family, Farming and Wrestling – The Carlson Legacy in Willmar

By Brian Jerzak

Family and wrestling go together like ice cream and apple pie. All across the state of Minnesota, the wrestling landscape is littered with families steeped in wrestling history. The Short family, the Morgan family, the Thorn and the Ness families, just to name a few, have produced multiple high-level wrestlers. They are families that get the sport of wrestling in their blood, and it never gets out.

The connection between wrestling and family is similar to the connection between family and farming. Generations of families work family farms. Often the home and farm are passed down from one generation to the next. Once farming gets in a family’s blood, like wrestling, it is hard to get it out.

Few families in Minnesota encapsulate the strong bond between family, farming and wrestling more than the Carlson family from Willmar.

“Our dad (Curtney) wrestled for Willmar back in the 1950’s,” Chad Carlson said, “and graduated from Willmar High School in 1957. He got us started in it. It wasn’t like he was pushing us one way or the other, but I think he thought it would be a good thing to get us into.”

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