Today we welcome Nicole Small from Kansas! She is passionate about farming and teaching the next generation about where their food comes from!
Hi my name is Nicole Small. My husband, Randy, and I farm together in Southeast Kansas. We are both the 5thgeneration from each of our families to farm in the same county in Kansas as our ancestors. I work full time on the farm with my husband. My father-in-law retired in 2007, but still likes to come see where he can help out. My parents and mother-in-law help on the farm when they are needed. They help the most with the care of our two wonderful boys and are great taxi drivers when we need to move equipment or we need a ride home at night.
Our farm is unique in that both my husband and I have college degrees and we both work on the farm together full time. I tend to take care of the cattle decisions and management and he helps me when things are slower in the crop fields. He makes all of the cropping decisions and puts up with a lot of irritating questions from me about why we do things the way we do. I am a think outside the box kind of girl and sometimes that doesn’t go over so well.
We have a commercial cow/calf operation. Most of the cows calve in February and March, but we do have a small herd that calves in the Fall. In the Summer and Fall when the cattle can find the nutrition they need from their grass, I help with the crop farming. I help haul fertilizer and water to the sprayer, run the combine during harvest, do lots of errands and do most of the paperwork. Randy helps me out during calving and processing time.
Our goal is to care for the land and resources that we have been given and leave them better than when we started. We have been 100% no-till for the last 14 years. We are constantly implementing new farming techniques and using science to make the right decisions. We have over 20 landowners that trust us to make the right decisions for their farms. In addition, we have two young sons that may want to come back to the farm some day and we want it to be in the best conditions possible if they choose to come back. Caring for the resources that have been given to us can be a huge burden, but incredibly rewarding at the same time.
We have 2 boys that like to help us out on the farm. Each year they are in charge of any bottle calves we may have and do a great job with the chores. Next year, they will both be in 4-H and I can’t wait to see them grow and learn about new things each year. Here is our oldest son showing his registered Limousin heifer at the county fair this summer.
I love to volunteer with kids especially in 4-H. Every year it seems that I have earned a new son or daughter from the support and guidance I have given them. These kids are the future of America and I feel a responsibility to help them achieve their goals. There were many people who supported and guided me in my youth and I feel it is my responsibility to help these young people like I once was supported.
I also enjoy going into classrooms to teach kids about agriculture and being a Farm Mom to the Kindergarten and Pre-K kids. We live in a small rural town. It amazes me how few of the kids have any ties to agriculture and how little they know about where their food comes from. I hope that I can teach them at least one thing about agriculture that sticks with them and that they can go home and tell their parents.
We grow corn, wheat, soybeans and grasses for hay on our farm. Here is a picture of Randy planting soybeans this spring after he spent the afternoon helping with the Kindergarten field day for the local school. Growing a variety of crops allows for crop rotations, spreads out the work load throughout the year and allows us to market crops with totally different end uses.
You can read more about our adventures in farming on my blog Tales of A Kansas Farm Mom. I post a new recipe every Wednesday that has been farm mom tested if you are looking for something new to fix for supper. You can also follow me on Facebook at A Kansas Farm Mom.
Thank you Nicole for the great feature!!! Be sure to visit her blog and Facebook page!
Calling all those aggies out there! We want to hear your story about your farm or ranch! Whats your tie to agriculture? Share your story and voice here! Contact us today!