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From Farm to Classroom for This Viatorian Associate

September 30, 2015

Viatorian Associate David Surprenant will celebrate 10 years as a Viatorian associate next year, but don’t look for him to celebrate for long. Surprenant 2015As one of only two dairy farmers left in Kankakee County, he starts and ends his days pretty much the same: milking his 180 cows.

David and his wife, Associate Susan Surprenant, farm 435 acres in all, and their lives revolve around calving season — this year they calved 98 cows — as well as planting and harvesting their crops of corn, beans, wheat, alfalfa and sorghum.

Their two sons help out, but it doesn’t leave time for much of anything else — except participating in their parish, St. George Church in Bourbonnais.

Associates David and Susan Surprenant

Associates David and Susan Surprenant

David returned to the classroom this fall to prepare seventh and eighth graders to receive the sacrament of confirmation. He came back to teach religious education after a nearly 25-year hiatus.

“Some of these kids are children of kids I taught before,” David says. “I just like the interaction you can have with junior high students. We have some great discussions.”

Students come during the dinner hour on Sunday nights, which was the only time David could do it. After class, he returns to the farm to milk the cows.