Meet Jacob (from Spalding, Nebraska) and Kali (from Gillette, Wyoming) - they met on FarmersOnly.com and are getting married on July 15, 2017! In addition to that news, they're expecting their first child in June, 2017!
In Kali's words:
Jacob and I met 2 weeks after I joined the site. I lived in Wyoming in a coal miner town with no one that I could see myself with. No farmers my age at 26. Jacob was 28 working on his family farm that has been in the family 4 generations. Coming from a small town of less then 500 he wasn't having much success either. After him messaging me a cheesy but very cute message I replied. After 2 weeks of talking, I took the chance and drove 8 hours to meet him. I spent the weekend on the farm with him, enjoying farm work together. I even met his parents the first weekend. After 8 months of traveling back and forth I made the move to Nebraska and couldn't be happier. We got engaged August 14, 2016. Our wedding is planned for July 15, 2017 and we just found out we are expecting in June 2017, after I've been told for 10 years that I couldn't have kids. We have been super blessed and it's all because we took a chance on a website called FarmersOnly. I couldn't have found a better match and someone who truly makes me happy everyday. Truly blessed God has brought us to this world to meet each other.
What did you do on your first date?
Our first date was on a tractor because he was in the middle of planting when I came to NE to meet him. So we spent the day planting and doing chores. Then before the day was done his parents came home early from a trip and I was able to meet them and get the 100 questions about me (I think I passed).
When did you know that he was the one?
I knew he was the one when I came to NE for the 3rd or 4th time and spent time with him and his amazing family and I couldn't see myself anywhere but there. He is very family oriented and works with them on a daily basis and it's amazing how much of a team they are. Then after my family met his family it was a done deal. They get along great and I've never seen my dad so comfortable with anyone so quickly.
What is your favorite thing about Jacob?
My favorite thing about Jacob is his huge heart and passion. I've never felt so appreciated, loved, and cared for on a daily basis. He tells me how beautiful I am everyday. How much he loves me everyday, and how much I make him happy everyday.
Congrats Kali and Jacob, from everyone at FarmersOnly.com!
The last few weeks I have spent preparing. Preparing for the party that really is a milestone for us. My farmer and I.
In 2008 I made my very first trip to South Dakota for my husband and I to meet face to face for the very first time. It was a horrendous trip, I won't lie. I left around midnight. And it was a bit spur of the moment...ok, a lot spur of the moment.
I packed my bag and jumped in the car. What was supposed to be a 12 hour trip ended up being more like 18 hours. I drove slow at night and then I hit some awful traffic in Iowa and then in Minnesota blew my tire. Which isn't a problem, however, I had this new SUV and of course it had to have some cargo unit installed in the back which meant I couldn't get to the lever that would lower the spare down. So, I was stuck on the side of the road calling my mechanic grandpa to see if he could help me get around it.
While we were chatting this police officer pulled up and was not very friendly about me being parked on the side of the exit ramp. I pointed at my tire and he insisted I start following him to a Walmart right around the corner. I barely made it before they closed for the night. That took some time and then I was finally on my way.
I met my husband for the first time on the exit ramp by our house. He then had me drive to his parents just down the road so I could shower and then I went to his house, which is now ours. I then met just about every person that was important to him. I was tired. And all I wanted was a bed. But, it was pretty exciting, the rush of it all. Just meeting him, then his family, and then his friends.
It was the second year for what we now deem our "Annual Neighborhood BBQ". And the house was filled with people!
This year we celebrated the end of summer with the eighth Annual BBQ. It's hard to believe that I have been in South Dakota six years this month. So hard to believe. Time has flown by for us. We have been together those six years, married five years, a beautiful two year old little girl, and lots and lots of memories.
Every year we spend the summer readying our house for the BBQ. It's a really great deadline actually. To get all those house projects done before our big party at the end of July. Especially since in a little over four weeks we should be chopping corn silage.
This year I started cleaning, organizing, and shopping a lot sooner that I have in the past because now I have a very busy two year old. But, even when I fall into bed exhausted by the end of the night, I am so happy we have our party. It's a really great time to reconnect with our neighbors and our friends and to see how everyone's children have grown.
The party gets bigger and bigger every single year, as new people come into our neighborhood, or we get involved in bible studies with new friends. Or friends that live far away are back for the weekend for a visit. This year I would say we had around 50 people. And it was actually a relatively small year for us!
Every year as I plan for the party (I design a new invite every year!) I get excited to see our list of guests grow and it's such a warm reminder for how important it is to simply spend the evening in fellowship. The night is filled with laughter and children's happy screams. It's also really nice to see the farmers in our area enjoy a night off before Harvest!
Are few and far between.
It's safe to say that my hubby does the hard work of getting up everyday and working on the farm. I used to be right along side him, but then we added our cutie pie into the mix, and I spend a lot of my time with her. If any of you are moms out there you know exactly what I am saying! Kids are busy and the older our little girl gets the busier she gets. And she absolutely loves anything farm related.
One thing that is a bit tough is that the farmer's wife doesn't seem to get sick days. My farmer, he works through most of his being sick days. And if he does sit down to rest it's normally locking himself in our bedroom while my daughter and I play quietly in the rest of the house. But, on the days I get sick I can normally convince him to take our daughter for a little bit of the day. Since she loves going to the farm remember.
But, I will say that being a farm wife and getting sick is normally not any fun. There are still chores to be done. There are still meals that need to be cooked for the guys. And a very, very busy little girl that wants all my attention. Some days I can't help but wish that my husband had "sick days". So that when the "stay at home" mom is sick. He can be around to take care of our girl and help with my chores.
But, one thing my farmer rarely ever even attempts to take is a sick day. We work from Monday to Saturday every single week. And honestly, even when it is our Sunday off, it seems we are working on something farm related on our own place. And those hours can vary significantly, sometimes quitting by 7. A good chunk of the year, well after 9 or 10.
It really stinks on the days when you are sick being on the farm. It doesn't matter if you are feeling like you are on your death bed or not. There are still animals that need to be fed. And chores that just can't wait.
But, when you are sick on a family farm it's wonderful having brothers around that can cover chores so you at least have a little time of rest.
Another great thing about being on the farm? There may not be a lot of sick days for your farmer, but on our farm at least, bring your kid to work day happens at least once a week. And that is something really special.
In South Dakota, and really across the Midwest from what I can see from my Facebook friends, planters are finally hitting the ground. We actually hit the ground a few weeks ago and got nearly all our corn in the ground before we had about four days of pouring down rain and really chilly temperatures. Well, chilly for this time of year anyway.
It isn't just the air temperature that can affect a growing crop, it's also the soil temperature. When you put corn in the ground you really don't want to see the soil temperature fall below 50 degrees. Any seed needs moisture and warm soil temperatures to grow. Hence the power of a greenhouse! Lots of warmth in there! That's also why you see many people start their garden indoors with grow lights on the plants to help give them a bit of a push.
The way that I love to explain planting season for farmers is to talk about planting season for gardens. The process is one in the same we are just planting a whole lot more than my "tiny" garden in the backyard.
First off, you apply some fertilizer. We let the local Co-Op do that for us. They do a great job and are really nice guys! And slap on my wrist for not snapping a picture. The one time I was in the field that they were in I forgot my phone! I also fertilize my garden, in the past I have used cattle manure (which we also use in our fields) from my heifers, this year I used a fertilizer you just shake on.
Just like in your garden we till up our fields with this big guy. My hubby's job typically. My garden is currently tilled and waiting for some tender loving care. Well, and someone to pick up the sticks all over it from our ever shedding willow tree.
And if you are like me you do some spraying before you put your crop in the ground. I really don't like weeds in my garden, and the guys don't like weeds in their fields. My brother in law spraying.
And then you plant your seed. Which the seeds for my garden are sitting on the counter also waiting to be sorted and mapped out. I am way behind on drawing out my garden this year. Farmers are typically ordering their seed months ahead of time and know exactly how much they need and what fields are getting what seed.
And then you take adorable pictures of your child while you wait for the piece of equipment to get to the end of the field to get their lunch.
Just like in your garden all of our crops have a certain amount of time until harvest. If you look at the back of your seed packets you will see a variety of timelines for your crops to be ready for picking. Without corn the shortest amount days until harvest is 95 days. That puts us hopefully chopping our corn silage at the end of August beginning of September. Right where we want to be!
Happy planting season to all my farmers out there across the country! And happy gardening season to all my gardeners. I know I can't wait to get in my garden!
Recently, it seems that a lot of the conversations I am having with producers and also consumers is all about labels.
Labeling on GMO's specifically. Or Genetically Modified Organisms. Really, it's just a bunch of Biotechnology.
California tried to pass this law last year and it failed miserably. Not because it was a horrible idea, for the simple reason it wasn't well thought out.
Here's the truth.
If we were to label every item that contained GMO's you may be surprised to see that there are quite a bit of products with GMO's used in them. Does that tell you if they are good or bad? No, not necessarily.
Honestly, it might even be more confusing than anything.
Every time a label gets slapped on something it makes for more to read, more to know, more to understand. And if we have to take the time and money to put a label on then something must not be right with the ingredients...right?
I am not opposed to GMO labeling, but here is what you need to know to know about GMO's.
However, I am opposed to lack of understanding when it comes to biotechnology and what it entails to actually get a GMO on the market. It takes some serious time and some serious money to get one biotechnology trait approved. And the truth is we have been safely eating foods that have been produced with biotechnology for over three decades
Because of biotechnology American farmers produce 40% of the world's corn on only 20% of the world's harvested acres.
And because of that we have one of the most affordable food supplies in the world. And GMO labeling may cause an increase in price within the food system, depending on what the labeling will entail. And here's a question, if it isn't GMO what else goes into the production? Should that also be on the label?
Remember I am not opposed to GMO labeling. But, I am worried about going to the grocery store and seeing more and more people confused over the vast amount of labels on one package of chicken.
If you have questions about GMOs, ask them. The answers are out there. And I am willing to help you find them and will most likely learn something along the way myself!
I am a part of a pretty diverse industry. There are quite a few options when it comes to growing food. People do things a lot of different ways. Knowledge is valuable and the only thing that will make me happy about the food that I eat is knowing about it, not just sticking a label on it.
This blog was first posted on January 6 on Stories Of A First Generation Farm Wife
While it seems everything around here is cancelled, closed, or really, really slow…one thing that isn't closed is any producer that has livestock.
In my home state, Indiana, roads are closed, offices, schools, businesses. They prefer everyone to stay home and cozy in their beds. One group of people I can promise you are not staying cozy and warm are livestock producers.
I can't speak too much on pork or chicken producers. But, I can promise you that both of those species are really enjoying their climate controlled buildings and are staying perfectly warm and cozy. At times those industries can gain some bad rap because they are keeping their animals inside. On days like today they should be praised for having a facility to protect their animals from the cold harsh winds and way below freezing temperature.
As a cattle producer my hubby was up and feeding cattle this morning and will spend a good part of his day checking livestock and breaking open water fountains so cattle will have access to water.
On days like today I tend to get lots of questions on social media, or through text messages from friends, how our cattle are doing on a day like today.
One thing about cattle is that they have some really, really thick hides. So on days like today that thick hide protects them from the elements. Most of our cattle have access to some sort of windbreak, whether it's trees, a building, or a farmer made one of round bales, metal or wood.
When it's this cold outside the care taking of our animals is our top priority. And also when its way hot outside too. I would say my farmer would agree with me in saying that the heat is sometimes worse for cattle than cold. Once cattle get hot it gets really hard to cool them down.
On a day like today I am thankful for my warm and cozy home and I am thankful we have the resources to make our cattle as comfortable as possible in this weather.
Just remember on days where you get to cozy up by the fire with your hot chocolate farmers are out there feeding cattle, moving snow, and putting down bedding.
As farmers and ranchers one thing we are constantly thinking of is the future.
|Peggy Greenway, a pork producer, talking to local moms about her farm.|
Buying local is definitely on a lot of people's minds these days. As we all start to become more aware of body image, our eating habits, and what is in food it seems most people think buying local is the thing to do.
For every $1 spent in a small community it will turn over 7 times. Seven times! I don't know about you, but that definitely makes me want to spend as much money as possible in our small community, and then some. I am already an active volunteer in the Ag community and I typically stay pretty busy with that. Which means stops at Walmart are infrequent and often late at night.
Local foods can mean a lot of things to different people. Some think buying local foods mean shopping at your local farmer's market, if you have one. Some think buying local means buying the stuff in the grocery store that says it's from their state. Some think buying at road side stands or directly from the farmer is buying local.
Buying local can mean a lot of things but I think as consumers we can feel pretty confident that buying produce and buying meat at our grocery stores is buying local in some way.
Let me explain...
|It's safe to say that her favorite place to shop is the place that offers little green carts!|
We sell our cattle to Tyson. Tyson will then sell the meat to the store. I know a chicken producer who sells their meat to Tyson. A pig producer who sells to Hormel.
As farmers we have the choice where we sell our meat. We can sell to major chains, but we can also sell locally to our community's butcher. Or even right out of our freezer. We do all of those things.
Sometimes people think that they can support the "small farmer" not the "factory farmer" by not buying produce at the grocery or meat from the meat counter and only buying from the farmer's market. And you can! But, you can also support farmers by buying from the grocery store.
98% of farms are family owned and operated. So those factory farms you might be hearing about? I would be hard pressed to find one!
I love to buy directly from other producers at our local farmer's market. And also fresh blackberries and pumpkins directly from the farm location. I love supporting the Ag industry as a whole. Which means I also love shopping at Hyvee (our grocery store chain) and Walmart, because I know that somewhere their is a family farm that made the decision to sell their product to a big company.
We make decisions to sell to companies like Tyson or Hormel because our farm is also our business and we want to make business decisions that are going to be profitable for us. It also helps that when you sell your product to a reputable company it makes you feel like you have made a good decision for your operation.
One thing buying local does not mean is that it is organic. Just because you are buying local doesn't always mean that it is considered an organic product. If you prefer to purchase organic make sure you ask how it was produced and/or to look for the label that says it is organic.
So, whether you buy only from your local farmer's market, Walmart, or an organic farmer that lets you pick your own produce, I think it's safe to say that with so many different versions of local food out there you are definitely buying from a family farm!
|Elliette and I last summer taking a break from picking green beans in the garden.|
As a wife, I know the way to my husband’s heart is right through his stomach. As a mom, I know that sometimes I have to let my little girl make a mess while I’m cooking, just so she thinks she is helping. As a farmer, I have a unique perspective when it comes to the food I put on my table. When you live and breathe agriculture every day, you understand the care and work that goes into providing the wholesome food that helps feed us every day. I spend my days working on our beef farm, blogging, raising our daughter Elliette, and cooking for the farm.
However, no matter what hat I’m wearing (wife, mom or farmer), it’s extremely important that my family always has a wholesome and nutritious meal on our table. This is especially true when it comes to cooking for the holidays.
The holidays hold a very special place in my heart, and are always full of excitement. Excitement to prepare my grandmother’s famous dishes that have been passed down for generations, as well as the excitement of starting new traditions like serving beef brisket for our Thanksgiving.
The holidays are also a time to share laughter, count our blessings and come together over a delicious meal. Actually, the more I think about it, food plays such a central role in all ofour lives. Whether it’s an everyday meal or a holiday feast, the dinner table is a place where we can all come together and find common ground.
As you sit down this holiday season with your own families, you can feel confident that your food was raised with great care. Whether you may realize it or not, a South Dakota farmer had a hand in growing the food that’s on your table. Your holiday turkey or ham was raised on corn and soybean meal that comes from our fields. The yummy cheese in your side dishes likely comes from a South Dakota dairy. As a grocery-buying mom, I am confident that what I buy at the store is safe and nutritious because I know that somewhere, there is a farmer like me, supplying that product.
More and more, I find myself being extremely thankful that my family has the opportunity to raise the food you put on your tables. This season, I hope that you too, will take the time to think about where your food comes from, and be thankful for the local farmers who help grow it.
And if you have plans of marrying a farmer, it definitely needs to be yours too!
Sometimes, farming isn't always fun. Sometimes it's muddy, rainy, and complicated.
Tonight, is one of those times.
It has been raining off and on for a few days now. This morning my husband asked me to make him a doctor's appointment later in the day because he hasn't been feeling well.
I immediately got excited. If his appointment is at 4:15, then we can have supper afterwards and spend some quality time together.
This kept me going all day long. I even got the chance to take a long, hot, uninterrupted shower. Do you know how rare it is for that to happen when you are a farm wife and a mommy? Maybe not, but I promise you it is rare, especially during harvest.
Not only did I get my long, hot shower...I also got to blow dry my hair, put on make up, and paint my fingernails. Now that my friends, NEVER happens during harvest. Ever.
I was just debating on an outfit when I got the call.
The call that changed my plans.
"The rain has let up for a bit, can you come get in the grain cart?"
Never mind that I look amazing. My hair is finally laying correctly for the first time in weeks. My make up is perfect and I was actually thinking about putting on heels.
I calmly start to change into farm clothes. Grab a pony tail holder and start gathering my things. I then wake up our daughter from her cozy nap with promises to ride in the semi with Daddy.
I head up to the farm and for the next 5 hours we combine corn in the rain. And we discuss quitting various times over the radio and then the rain lets up and we decide to keep going. This happens again and again and again.
It's also my week to cook on the farm. And I don't have anything ready to go, because I thought I had the night off.
We finally call it quits at 8 PM as the lightening is getting pretty fierce and the rain is finally starting to come down.
I drive the grain cart back to the yard, grab our daughter from the semi, get her home, tickle her until she giggles, put on her warm jammies and lay her down for bed.
I just sat down to write out this blog post and it has stopped raining. And I just had a missed call from my husband.
What do you want to bet we are thinking about combining some more corn?
|Soybean Harvest 2013. A beautiful day to be in the fields!|
If you remember from my previous posts, this is the time of year I met my farmer face-to-face for the first time- down the road from our house on the exit ramp actually!
Anyway, my first visit to our farm was one of my first visits to what you might define as a "big" farm. And not just amount of acres. Family. Equipment. Commodities.
The first few days on the farm I spent it following my husband around with his (now ours) camera.
I basically was his pal around for the week, taking some time to spend with his family in between.
I remember my first visit seeming like the days were full- but not too full.
Now, when I moved to South Dakota just a few months later I moved right before we started chopping silage. And all of a sudden those full days became really, really long days. And nights.
There was a ton of running around, a lot of equipment getting moved, and a lot of caffeine-drive husbands.
And there wasn't any date nights for the first couple of months.
I remember being in awe of what my husband and his brothers had accomplished in such a short amount of time, and the relationship that they must have with their parents in order for them to all work together each day.
I remember my farmer telling me he worked every day of the week, but that didn't really sink in with me that first visit to the farm. It took a good year for me to realize that days off are few and far between- and they normally involve a visit to family.
If your first visit to the farm is coming up, bring your camera along and a listening ear. Make sure to ask lots of questions, chances are this is your match's pride and joy and something he is really passionate about!
Is there ever a perfect time for a farmer to get married?
Honestly, I'm not really sure. But, there is always the chance of picking the perfect time of year for your farmer.
For example. If you are marrying a rancher, who mainly has cows that are having calves from February to June, you probably shouldn't pick one of those months.
If you are dating strictly a crop farmer, you probably shouldn't pick planting season (April) or harvest season (anywhere from September to November).
|We don't make a whole lot of square bales anymore, but haying during summer is still pretty busy whether it's square bales or round bales.|
If you are marrying a farmer that has his hands into a couple of different things. Like crops and cattle, like me, pray for a really perfect year and pick a day.
My husband and I were engaged in July and we were married that November. We had to work around numerous this. Snow, for example. In South Dakota it blizzards something fierce and not only would snow deter our guests, but it would also keep my hubby focused on moving a lot of snow from our cattle feed yards in order to feed cattle. This took out December to March. We plant crops, so planting season, that takes our April. And harvest season, end of August to October for us. We always set the goal to be done by October 31st and in the five years I have been here we have only one time not made the deadline, the year we got married. Go figure.
|Tarping our corn silage pile this Fall.|
My husband didn't initially want to get married in November. And I understand, but we both agreed summer was just too busy with weddings already and it's hot. So, we quickly cut out all other months of the year.
And, personally I have enjoyed three years of having our anniversary, soon four, on November 7. It's actually pretty perfect. Dating during harvest is already terrible, and we are busy, and we don't spend hardly any time together. Since we are normally done by October 31, what a better way to spend our anniversary than celebrating the end of harvest and another year of wedded bliss?
So, when thinking about what day you want to be special for you the rest of your life, choose wisely and be conscious of what season it is on the farm because your farmer may take time for your wedding, but he probably won't promise to take time for your anniversary in years to follow!