Wednesday, May 22, 2013

First Generation Farmers

Today we welcome Shea Lowe. Her family are first generation farmers in Kentucky! With hard work they are making their dreams come true - being involved in agriculture!

We are located in Murray, KY (Western KY, just west of the Land between the Lakes area KY lake). Our main cash crop is Dark Fired Tobacco (which is all labor intensive) but we also grow corn, soybeans and wheat while running a small angus cattle herd.

I have a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science from Murray State University. I always planned to work in the business field (I love skirts and heels), but God had another plan for me in 1998. I met the love of my life and in 2002. I married a farmer! From there on it was dirty clothes and hair. We are a FIRST GENERATION FARM FAMILY!!! My caps are happy caps because we are so proud to be able to work God's Land and raise our girls within the FARM LIFE!! I am hoping my blog creates some awareness and education about agriculture.

Every day is a great day outside, with our "hands in the dirt - ourHEARTS are at work!" This is the drive and slogan that started my blog; this is my life as the farmer’s wife. The drive is the easy part. My husband grew up a typical small boy, playing with tractors and trucks. His father worked for TVA and his mother is a house wife. My parents were school teachers, and I lived in the school/sports area since birth. Neither one of us grew up on a farm nor had anyone in our families farmed for a living. To our parent’s surprise, we are proud to say that we are a first-generation farm family.

We started our farm, Lowe Farms in 2002 when we married, but it actually started in 2001 as our neighbor leased us two acres worth of dark-fired tobacco pounds. We split the crop 50/50, he paid for all the inputs and we paid the labor. The profit from this crop allowed my husband to buy an engagement ring for me and put a down payment on a double wide mobile home and two acres of ground.

We are blessed by supportive family and friends along with community relationships that keep us thriving. We were turned down in 2002 by a loan officer that said we would never make it as a farm owner and operator. That incident put a drive in us to work hard and achieve the goal of being a first generation family. Thanks to a new loan officer in 2002 at a different bank and our faith in Gods works, we still operate Lowe Farms- a dream still in the making. Our dream was to raise a family in agriculture and teach them the lifestyle that feeds the world, and that nothing is greater than calling ourselves AN AMERICAN FARMER!

Typical day is MOM first. Normally it’s getting kids up and out the door to school. Next is to the herd to feed for the morning and make sure all are accounted for. Then I head to the tobacco field where I manage our h2a migrant workers. I drive the setter during setting time and tractors during cutting time. My duties are to see the work schedule is achieved each day and the guys are on task. You will normally find me right with them, I can’t stand to ask someone to do something I wouldn’t do myself. My husband tends to the larger crops (corn, beans and wheat) when they are in season and I take charge in the tobacco field. On days where we are caught up I work in the office and catch up on paperwork and tax information. And all days are spent working between field and family being that there are 3 meals and a house to tend too as well.

Everything is my favorite thing when it comes to living on the farm. I guess not growing up and living the farm life as a child, makes each a new day. I love the smell of the fresh air, the sounds of the tractors in the distance, and the animals that we raise. I love how they meet me as they see me coming to feed them. I love my kids barefoot and carefree. I grew up in town on the cement and heard the hustle and bustle of the college students to and from school. It was so hard to move to the country where street lights weren’t every 10 feet but maybe seen every 10 miles. Now, I have the passion of teaching and spreading the importance of hard work and the fiber that feeds this great world.

Farming isn’t a way of life IT IS MY LIFE!! It is what feeds my family and yours. From the care and compassion of the cows that we hand raise for beef, to the education of how food is properly produced for the world. Farm life if hard, and like everything in life can make you or break you.

Thank you Shea for a great post! Farming and ranching is a great life! Good luck and we wish you much farming success!!! You can follow this farming family on their blog!

What is your story? Are you a begining farmer? A 5th generation farmer? We need your story! Email us at and learn how to become the next Face of Agriculture!