This article is a little different than the others I have written, because instead of interviewing someone else, I get to tell you a little about our farm. My husband, Brad, and I farm along with his parents, Tom and Colleen, in Rush County. Brad is the fifth generation to work on the family farm. We have three daughters, Brittney, 8, Melaney, 5, and Jody, 22 months, whom we try to involve in the day-to-day activity on the farm as much as possible. Brad also has a sister, Lauren, who works off the farm at an accounting agency.
We raise corn and soybeans and also have a feeder-to-finish cattle operation. We purchase the cattle weighing 400 to 500 pounds and feed them out to a finished weight of 1200 to 1300 pounds. The cattle are fed a well-balanced diet of corn, corn silage, hay and supplements, which act as vitamins to help keep them healthy. We want the consumers to be satisfied with the meat they purchase, because we aren’t just farmers, we are consumers as well. We eat what we raise and take pride in delivering delicious meat to dinner tables everywhere.
Brad and his dad are the only two operators on our farm. We don’t have any outside employees, but during planting season Colleen drives the tractor to till the ground before planting and, during harvest, she drives the combine when needed. I am a stay-at-home mom and manage to stay pretty busy chasing kids around. While I look forward to the day that I can work on the farm with my husband, right now my main duties on the farm involve delivering meals to the fields during spring and fall, helping move equipment from field to field, and driving to town to pick up parts to fix the ever-dreaded break down.
Farming is 7-days-a-week, 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year. Farmers never get a day off. I grew up on a dairy farm, and I remember taking only one extended vacation. On Christmas day, we would have to wait for my dad and brother to get in from doing the morning chores before we could open our gifts. My mom may tell you differently, and I’m sure I begged her several times about opening just one gift before they came inside, but I didn’t mind it. I learned at an early age that that was life on the farm. I admire Brad for how hard he works day-in and day-out.
I feel one of the biggest misconceptions about farming is that farmers don’t care about their livestock or the land. This past winter, when we faced several days of subzero temperatures and people were advised to stay inside, Brad and his dad were out braving the elements to make sure the cattle had water, feed and fresh, warm straw. If we take care of them, they take care of us. We want to preserve the land for the next generation.
You can follow along with our life on the farm by visiting my blog: www.thisfarmfamilyslife.com. You can also find me on Instagram: farmmomof3, Twitter @SarahMahan3, and Facebook: This Farm Family’s Life