Monday, July 2, 2012

Robyn's Parents

Robyn has shared her story with us before here. This is the story of her parents and how they became a part of agriculture. 

Hello from the western South Dakota! I am Robyn from The Ranch Wife Chronicles.

Today I am sharing my parent's story and the roots of my agriculture experience. I was raised in central Nebraska on a cow/calf operation. Growing up, my sister and I showed steers and lambs. Mom still keeps a few sheep around and has started a Southdown flock. Both of my parents grew up on farms.

Agriculture runs deep in my Mom’s heritage and family farming can be traced all the way back to Czechoslovakia. Her father ran angus cows and duroc hogs, farming in Seward County, Nebraska. My mom is no stranger to the show ring and learned her love for showing from Grandpa.

Dad grew up with Berkshire hogs. His family raised, showed and sold seedstock. Grandpa W attended the Nebraska State Fair and the State Fairs of bordering states selling boars and gilts. 

Mom and Dad met at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Dad was on the Meats and Livestock Judging Teams. In fact, Dad was a champion Meat’s judge and won the National Collegiate Meats Judging Contest. Mom was the first woman to be on the UNL Livestock Judging Team; a team that won in Kansas City.

After graduating from college, Mom took her life savings to purchase cattle. These cows were the beginning to what has become 35 years in the ranching business. Mom and Dad have AI’d (artificially inseminated) cows for the past 35 years.

In the early years, Mom and Dad raised a few show calves, selling most of them private treaty. Since my sister and I have grown up, my parents changed direction and started raising commercial angus cattle. Their focus is primarily functional females and high quality feeder calves.

Mom and Dad have seen the good times and the hard times in the ranching business. Over the years they have both had “off the farm” jobs. Mom worked at the local auction market for 23 years. She started out in the yards and worked her way to became a field rep. She currently is the advertising manager and contributing editor for CALF News Magazine.

Dad bought fat cattle after graduating from college. After marrying, he worked as a loan officer in a bank. Dad was also herdsman for a registered Angus outfit for 10 years.

Ranching is not an easy or romantic career. It is a business and a tough one at that. Mom and Dad have weathered many ups and downs in this business. My parents have built a high performing commercial cow herd, raised two daughters and know it takes a lot to produce wholesome food.

Thanks Robyn for sharing your parent's story with us! You can visit Robyn and learn more about her history at The Ranch Wife Chronicles. We would love to hear more stories from anyone out there about their parents and grandparents. 

If you would like to be a featured farmer or know someone who should be, leave a comment below - or check out our contact page. To learn more about the Faces of Agriculture Project click here.