Growing up, Krista Stauffer didn’t know much about agriculture. In fact, the only farm experience she had was driving past an old dairy farm in her small hometown. Ironically, today she lives on that exact farm with her husband and their growing young family.
Categories: Why I Farm, Why I Farm Roadtrip
Tags: Beck's Blog, Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, dairy, Natalina Sents, Why I Farm Roadtrip, Washington, jerseys, milk, The Farmer's Wife, young farmer
The family farm has been part of Derek Helms’ life for about as long as he can remember. As a kid, his grandmother would be waiting in her big Caprice Classic to shuttle him to the farm after school. “School was out by 3:00 and she'd have me here by 3:30 to start milking cows. I was going to come home and learn the responsibility of taking care of the animals and milking the cows and getting the job done.” Derek recalls.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, corn, dairy, Natalina Sents, Why I Farm Roadtrip, Peaches, Arkansas, Derek Helms, Arkansas Farm Bureau, crops
Between forage crops, almonds and dairy, Larry Haworth has been farming in California all of his life. But he knows if history had played out just a little differently, he may not have had this opportunity.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, dairy, Natalina Sents, Why I Farm Roadtrip, Larry Haworth, Dutra Farms, California, almonds
Sometimes it takes moving away to realize that home is where your heart is.
Growing up in southern Wisconsin, Shellie Zweifel was in 4-H and FFA. After high school, she packed up for Iowa State University to study agriculture. “The big dream job was to work somewhere like USDA.” Shellie remembers.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, dairy, Natalina Sents, Wisconsin, Why I Farm Roadtrip
Carrie Mess has always been an animal lover, but growing up as a city kid, she never imagined that she’d become known by so many as Dairy Carrie.
“I had no farm background whatsoever. I was the girl that never grew out of loving horses.” Carrie laughs. “Before the cows, I rodeoed and stuff. Horses were my gateway into ag. I had horses from the time I was 16. I went to an auction and bought my first horse and didn’t even have a place to take it. I figured it out, clearly. He’s still in my pasture at my house.”
For over 30 years, Theresa Freund has warmly greeted the customers visiting her East Caanan, Connecticut farm market in search of fresh produce, gift items and baked goods.
“When Amanda was born, I realized I couldn’t really milk cows and chase after heifers. I tried, I really did try.” Theresa recalls. “I put her in a little carrier on my back and I was like, ‘Sure, I’ll help you catch that heifer.’ But then all of the sudden I was slipping and I had this baby. I even tried putting her in a little carrier outside the barn and there she was, crying. So I was like, ‘Oh no, I can’t do this. This is not going to work.’ But I’m not the type of person that’s going to sit around and twiddle my thumbs, so the big garden just got bigger and bigger.”
Tags: Why I Farm, farmers, dairy, Why I Farm Roadtrip, Connecticut, Freund's Farm Market, produce, CowPots
Joanna Lidback’s Jersey herd started with a 4-H project “gone wild.” What began as childhood lessons in science and responsibility eventually evolved into a passion.
For a while, Joanna farmed with her brother. After recognizing their different styles and ideas, they decided to pursue their goals separately. “One thing I’ve learned, and I take it with me in my consulting business is sometimes you have to know when it’s the right time to say, ‘No, this isn’t going to work. Let’s salvage our sibling relationship, in this case, and move on and do our own thing.’ That’s what’s important to me.” Joanna smiles. “It worked. We’ve been closer than ever since we went our separate ways.”
Tags: farmer, Why I Farm, dairy, Why I Farm Roadtrip, Vermont, farmher, Joanna Lidback
The Flood family has a rich history of farming near Clinton, Maine spanning more than 200 years. “The original property was deeded to an ancestor by King George," Jenni Tilton-Flood beams. "It moved through different wings of the family, but there was always somebody here, subsistence farming.”
Tags: Beck's Blog, farming, farmer, Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, John Deere, farm, tractor, dairy, Family, Natalina Sents, Why I Farm Roadtrip, Maine
Coley Drinkwater is a world traveler, entrepreneur and dairy farmer. Every morning her alarm goes off at 3:19 a.m. to start another day working alongside her family at Richlands Dairy Farm. This isn’t how she always pictured her life, but she loves it.
“I went to school for human nutrition, food and exercise because we weren’t encouraged to come back to the farm. I was thinking about doing occupational therapy when I graduated, but I would have to go on full-time for another two and a half years for occupational therapy. I was like, ‘I just want a break from school.’ I’d always wanted to travel the world, so I thought, ‘If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it now while I don’t have any real responsibilities to anyone.’ I worked as a waitress and saved my tips for a year and a half, and then bought a plane ticket and went around the world. It was just awesome. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I got home in early August and they were getting ready to start chopping corn. My dad needed help and I was broke. I already knew how to do what we were doing so he wasn’t going to have to train anybody. I needed the money and I could live for free at my parents’ house, so I started working for him. Then I was like, ‘I always enjoyed the farm. I don’t know if I really want to go back to school.’ I took that time to decide, ‘Is this what I want to do? Is this where my heart is? Or is this going to be the kick in the butt I need to go to grad school.’ I’ve been here ever since. I just fell in love with it.”
Tags: beck’s hybrids, Why I Farm, dairy, family farm, Natalina Sents, Beck’s Blog, Why I Farm Roadtrip, Virginia Farm, Coley Drinkwater Jones
This past October I had the honor to interview a very special woman from southern Kentucky. She’s fierce like a tiger, but gentle as a lamb. With a heart of gold and the courage of a lion, Loretta Lyons of Tompkinsville, KY overcame a loss to become the true epitome of a farmer. What are you waiting for? Follow me to southern Kentucky, right on the Tennessee border to the farm of Hade’s Triple “K” Dairy.
Categories: Why I Farm
Tags: farming, farmer, Why I Farm, #whyifarm, corn, farm, soybeans, National FFA Convention, FFA, farmwife, dairy farming, dairy, Holstein, Kentucky, Kentucky Farmer of the Year, Tompkinsville, Hade's Triple "K" Dairy, Sunbelt Expo