Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Elizabeth and Wade

Greetings from the Midwest! This is the other half of “Faces of Agriculture” and if you are reading this feature it means that we had a lull in responses to our blog! Tisk Tisk…So that means you need to be contacting us so we can feature YOU!

My husband and I are beginning farmers – currently living off the farm. We own 4 head of purebred Hereford heifers. The ladies live on Wade’s (my husband’s) parent’s farm about 100 miles from our current living situation. This December they will take a field trip to my parent’s home to meet their Angus bull. We hope love is in the air this winter and that we will have our first calf crop next fall.

Our situation is different. We had to move off the farm for work. We live in a modest apartment in a college town. We have a roping dummy chained to the bike rack in front of our apartment complex and we dream about having a farm of our own. While I am working in the office, Wade is working odd jobs at a local sale barn. We are saving money and looking for land to rent/own so we can move our 4 girls closer and expand our herd. Of course we are looking forward to next year – as we hope the drought will be over and the conditions will be more ideal for cattle. We can’t afford to buy much hay as it is. Luckily the in-laws have pasture and hay to spare – otherwise our venture into the cattle business would be over pretty darn quick.

Both of us have been involved in agriculture our entire life. Both born and raised on the farm. I was raised on a diversified farm. Growing up we had hogs – from farrow (birth) to finish (market weight), cow/calf and crops. Now a day’s we have the cattle, and row crops. I was a very active member of FFA in high school. I went on to college and received a degree in Agriculture Science with an emphasis on business.

Wade was born into a family that dealt with cattle and horses. He was involved in 4-H. Wade went to a tech school and learned about carpentry and has worked since high school with a construction crew putting up pole barns. I’ve been teaching him some pointers on crops and he has been teaching me to ride and rope.

While writing this I asked Wade, "why did we decided to get cattle and start down this road?" The only answer we can come up with is that - cattle and farming is what we know and grew up with. We were raised in agricultural households and want to give our children the same experiences and opportunities we had - working with the land and animals. It's our heritage. It's as simple as that. I know that if you were to ask folks involved in agriculture their answer would be pretty much the same.

I have a personal blog where I post things that happen to us along our way. Our "ramblins". Wade even helps – he is the chief writer/story teller in a series we have been calling “Cattle Calamity,” which highlights some of his misadventures at the sale barn and cattle handling in general. I write about things that matter to me and love to post farm photos. Wade also moonlights with a rodeo stock contractor so we spend a fair amount of time at rodeos – which is a favorite thing of mine to photograph.

My favorite thing about working on the farm is being able to get my hands dirty and work hard. I love digging around in the garden or helping with the livestock. My mom probably put it the best she always says jokingly, "we are people of the land," we wouldn't be happy if we didn't have that connection with the land.

I also like talking to other people about agriculture and learning about different practices and operations. That’s the main reason I am so excited about Faces of Agriculture – it’s a dream come true to contact ranchers and farmers and learn about what they are doing!

As I’ve mentioned I enjoy working with the land and animals. It’s a great feeling however; it’s not a calling for everyone. I wish people would understand that those involved in farming and ranching are not in the business solely for the money – there are easier ways earn a living! Ag is an industry ruled by weather and nature. I think that fact makes our industry very special. Farms allow us to watch the entire life story unfold: from birth to death farmers and ranchers witness all. And we truly understand that there is a time and purpose for everything under heaven. A lot of us have been involved in this circle of life for many many years – centuries even. So it’s understandable that we take attacks from HSUS (Humane Society of United States) and other outside interest groups very personal. Get to know your farmers, and you will get to know the truth about agriculture!

Does this fella look familiar? He is our profile photo currently on our Facebook page - my dad!

Thanks Elizabeth for the feature! And be sure to visit her blog and Facebook page .

If you would like to be a FOA feature - contact us! We need your story to keep the blog going strong!