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March 15, 2011
There’s No Life Like Farm Life
By: Joan Ruskamp
When all is said and done there is no life like the farm life. We see the glory of God all around us and learn everyday the meaning of trusting in Him. We have the opportunity to share in the care of His creation with the land and the livestock we have. We have joys and sorrows. We see death and life. We get to participate in a dance that nature knows very well.
I am a woman involved in agriculture. I did not grow up on a farm but you would never know that now! I have spent nearly 30 years-since my husband and I were married-on a farm raising crops and feeding cattle.
Life now is so much different than 30 years ago. When we started our own little family farm we had high ambitions. Steve had been a cattle feeder his whole life and that was all he wanted to do. I had a love for horses that drove me as a teenager to use detassling money to buy my first horse and keep it at an uncle’s acreage. I had dreams of a horse barn and white fences. Steve had dreams of pens of cattle that lined up to the bunk at feeding time. We started this journey on the farm Steve’s dad was born and raised on.
Our dreams met up with the reality of a farm crisis in the 1980’s. We were hit hard and ready to do whatever God wanted. We had a 3 year old daughter and a new baby boy when our bank said they wanted to cut us from their portfolio. A guaranteed government loan, another banker willing to take a risk on us and the former bank all to willing to say good-bye was what we needed to make a new start.
Our children grew up right in the middle of the action of unloading cattle during the night, trucks unloading corn, riding along in the pickup to water trees, riding in tractors, riding horses, playing in the trees behind our house, building forts out of hay bales in the barn and other activities the town kids would want to come out and do.
As I continue my journey as a woman in agriculture I hope to give others more than just a picture of farm life. I learned early on the importance of understanding!