Farmer Jim

“Have you talked to your Mom?”

“No. Why?”

“We got the cows preg checked…”

“Oh…”

“Not a one is pregnant.”

For any livestock producer this news is devastating. Just last week I heard this from my dad at the local gas station when we met for the morning chores. For a full time farmer this is a total loss. Equivalent, in my eyes, to becoming laid off and loosing your job without a chance to find a new job till the next season.

My family and I moved to Amish country almost 7 years ago. Mom and dad have wanted to build a house since they got married nearly 27 years ago and it finally become a reality on the land that has been in my dad’s family for over 100 years. That’s right, we are first generation farmers on a Missouri Century Farm…… My dad’s family has a history of farming in the area. He worked on relatives and family friends farms growing up but his immediate family did not grow up living on a farm and I grew up in town. When I was starting my Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) when I was a Green Hand in FFA my dad was buying his first load of commercial cow/ calf pairs. Going through the experience of buying cattle, starting a working farm and transitioning into a farm family was a dream come true for this city dweller.

Since my dad has a full time job in town hearing that our bull went sterile was hard but there are worse things that could have happened and our family is lucky that selling calves is not our only source of income.

We keep the cattle in a small space so that it is easier to work with each animal. It also keeps the farmer safe.

Regardless, we still had a list of errands to run that morning and work to do on the farm. We have a small commercial heard of 12 momma cows. If you take a ride on our four- wheeler they follow you around like puppies because they think it is my dad getting ready to feed them something special. After we got done with our errands in town dad and I’s plan was to “work” the cattle. We had to move the cattle into the pin and bring them through the shoot. We had to pour dewormer and fly medicine on their backs, tag 2 of them and then keep the bull back since we would be getting rid of him at the beginning of the week.

We tag our cattle so that we can keep more accurate records for each animal. It is like when we get our ears pierced, she did not like it too much so she started to lay down. But what girl doesn't like new jewelry?

Even though we have a small opperation going home to visit the farm and being with family is one of my favorite things to do. When dad has stuff to do on the farm he calls it his chores and getting to spend last Friday and Saturday helping do “chores” is okay by me when it gets to be with Farmer Jim.

Dad walking to let the cattle back out into the field.

Case New Holland, Wisconsin and Me

On May 18, 2012 at 1:30pm I will graduate with my Bachelor of Science Degree in General Agriculture Communications with an emphasis in Communications. A day later I will be loading up Dad’s truck with the remains of my apartment and loading my car with my belonging for the summer and Jeremiah to head to Racine, Wisconsin. For three glorious months I will be interning with Case New Holland (CNH). I will work in their corporate office as an online marketing support intern. Simply put, I will be helping the CNH marketing team by updating their blogs, websites, brochures, flyers, digital photo files and staying in constant communication with the local CNH dealers so that the know how to keep their marketing material up to date.

You might be wondering how I got this position. Well it all started in October. My friend, Cassie, and I were working the recruitment booth at the National FFA Convention Career Show. We decided to go on a short break and walk around to ask about internships. At the time I was not sure if I was going to be graduating a year early, picking up a minor, studying abroad or starting graduate school. As Cassie and I worked our way around the huge room filled wall to wall with potential agricultural employers we came across the Case booth.

The representatvies at Case took time to flatter our request of asking about internships. They asked what we were looking for and some of our experiances, right there! To the recruiters of CNH. We each got seperate names and cards for the people or departmetns that best fit us.

We returned to Missouri from convention cards and FFA t-shirts in hand and emails that needed to be written. Cassie and I both applied for our separate positions and both ended up getting the offers we wanted. Cassie will be going to Pennsylvania and I will be going off to Wisconsin. Case will provide house and I slowly have been getting employment information in the mail.

It is amazing how little steps like talking to someone at a convention can make sure a difference. God has a crazy plan and I cannot wait to have this summer adventure away from Missouri and to experience what it is like to live away, away from home. If you have any advise or words or wisdom it is all welcomed with open arms! 🙂

A little about me…

My name is Kelsie Young. I am a senior, Agricultural Communications major, Missouri State University. I found a love for the outdoors and the country lifestyle at an early age. Spending more than my fair share of summer days and nights on Table Rock Lake in Shell Knob, Missouri meant living with ear infections, sunburnt noses and never ending happiness. We did everything from: cookouts, fireworks, smores, nature walks, boat rides, swiming and playing till our hearts were content. Our family: my dad, Jim, my mom, Lori, and my sister, Callie (now Zirkle) always seemed to stay close to home for our family vacations. If we were not at the lake we were in Buffalo, Missouri at my mom’s parents house. Here we found ourselves ingulfed in never ending southern cooking, sweet treats and unlimited running room. Whether we were swimming in the pool, canoeing in the Niangua river, taking walks or playing games in the field behind their house or learning to ride horses in the corral behind the barn it was my own southern belle fantasy.

If you know anything about agricultural women, grew up around them or if you are one; Wrangler jeans, Ariat and Justin boots and big jewlery are probably a guilty pleasure of yours and something that you are accustom too. On the working side of the farm you will also have your shit kickers, coveralls and dirty ball caps you wear when you go to work livestock or while working in the field during harvest. These are things I did not grow up with. My childhood dream of living on a farm, riding horses, showing cattle and being a “farmer’s daughter” did not happen until I was a freshmen in high school.

About the time I was joining my high school FFA chapter and taking my first agriculture education class, Dad was buying his first load of bred heifers. We were putting the finishing touches on our house and it was time to become a farming family. My dreams were coming true and my sisters were being crushed. Callie was not a fan of the extra drive time the country life was causing and I was in love with the 82ish acres I had to play and day dream on.

Throughout the years my passion and love for agriculture has not only shaped my future but also molded me into the farmer’s daughter I have always wanted to be. I am going to take you on a journey, a journey of my life as a non southern southern belle.