Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Brandi in John Deere Green

Today we welcome Brandi who shares with us about the mechanical and repair side of agriculture and what it takes to keep her family's business running year round. Welcome Brandi! 

My name is Brandi and I am the blogger behind In John Deere Green… I blog about my life in smalltown Iowa.

I haven’t always live in the country, but I’ve never really lived in the city either. I spent most of my life on a small acreage right on the blacktop outside city limits. We didn’t farm or raise cattle or hogs. We did however have a couple of horses and cows throughout the year and baled about 20 acres of hay. We never owned and new or fancy equipment because it wasn’t necessary. We cut, raked, & baled our hay with a JD 70! My grandpa used to farm before my grandma wanted to move to town so I’ve been around farming for most of my life.

I met my boyfriend in 2010 and we fell in love. I was working on a nursing degree and he was right off the farm working on a degree in ag power technology. He is now a fulltime ag mechanic at the family shop and helps out with the family farming operation and hog buildings. I am a part-time RN and secretary at the shop. In 2012 he bought a house so I moved to the country to live with him. We also adopted a black lab-mix puppy who has become a big part of our life. I’ve live in the country for over a year now and have learned so much. I love living out here and wouldn’t change it for anything.

Since moving to the country and moving in with my boyfriend I’ve “joined” a 5,600+ acre corn & soybean farming operation, hog building operation, and ag repair shop business. I do help out with the farming operation but it generally doesn’t involve operating the equipment, I pick up parts, drop off food, and move trucks around to different fields. I do however enjoy riding in the tractor or semi with my boyfriend. The operation owns the hog buildings, but not the hogs. We rent out the buildings. But that also means that we are responsible for repairs. And I have spent far too many hours helping weld gates and slap-patch the floors in the hog buildings. The ag repair shop is what takes up most of my time. I am a part-time secretary at the shop, besides all of the bookwork, phones calls, etc. that means service calls, getting parts, and helping work on tractors. My boyfriend also has an ag repair business on the side, so I do all of that bookwork, taxes, etc.

Tractors have now become part of my daily life. And although I’m not in the tractor farming daily or out feeding cattle at 5am, agriculture is still a big part of my life. During the spring and harvest the shop gets VERY busy. Often I am there on my own taking phone calls and helping customers, while my boyfriend is off on service calls. During these times my boyfriend is in charge of the shop while his father is in a tractor. It’s a busy job and takes a lot of work. During harvest we get much more field time then in the spring, that’s just how things work out.

I’m definitely an agvocate. It’s important that farmers get the public’s support. People don’t understand how much work farming takes or how farmers are the reason they have food on their plates. I hate when people say how farming is easy and a lazy person’s job because you only farm a couple months out of the year. This isn’t the case at all though. In fact in our case, everyone besides one person who is in-charge of all off-season farm related stuff, has a job outside of farming: mechanic, business owner, manager, nurse, jailer, lawyer, and some others! It’s nice to see kids that are just graduating high school going into farming or ag-related industries.

Thanks Brandi for the great feature! Be sure to check out her blog, In John Deere Green, and also be sure to look her up on Facebook