A couple of weeks ago Anthony and I jumped ship, leaving our eight kiddos and the farm with my parents. We shared one small bag and headed to Austin, TX. It was one of the most amazing farming conferences we have attended.
For four beautiful days we were surrounded by over 500 Veteran farmers at the Farmer Veteran Coalition Lone Stars and Stripes Stakeholder Conference. Over the past four years we have been a part of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, supporting their mission of “Mobilizing Veterans to Feed America”. This conference was a chance for both of us to connect with fellow veteran farmers Read More
Anthony and I have been blessed to work with Veteran farmers across the United States. Our service to these farmers and our collaborative efforts with agricultural organizations and institutes have opened doors we didn’t know existed. These opportunities have included supporting and advocating for agricultural policy both in the state of Nebraska and in Washington D.C. as well as being asked to speak at a variety of conferences.
Each opportunity has allowed us to network with leaders in the agricultural industry, farmers, both large and small, and state representatives. This network of individuals opened yet another door for our farm and our family. Two weeks ago we were Read More
He is our rock, our fortress, our deliverer. Psalm 18:2
This winter was beyond tough. The week McKenzie was born, the same week of the Polar Vortex we lost 500 chickens and six goats due to the extreme cold. We were devastated. The emotional heartbreak of the loss….there just aren’t words.
Then the spring waters came. Our property sits like a sieve of a funnel. Hills of neighboring properties surround us. Which, diverted all the rain and spring run-off right into our coops…we lost another 50 chickens and have months of work ahead of us to repair damage from the amount of rushing water that flowed through our property.
After Read More
At this point it feels like Spring is so very far away. With the delay in the fall harvest and the delays in getting our buildings up, we have lost a number of animals. It’s not just the farming financial loss but the loss of each life, no matter how big or small, that weighs on our hearts.
The older boys feel it too. Teaching about life, death, quality of work, and maintaining a hopeful perspective while grounded in faith, is sometimes a challenge.
The Dodge Superbowl commercial from 2013 comes boldly to mind when challenges like we have had farming this winter arise.
It is in these moments that we Read More
Two weeks ago Nebraska had some of the coldest weather on record as our family braced for the Polar Vortex.
Fifteen years ago Anthony and I picked out the names of the two baby girls we were going to have; Emily and McKenzie. Ten years ago, we wrote down all the names of our kiddos on the back of a Denny’s napkin.
Jan 29, 7 lb 8oz, 20 inches
What do these things have in common? On January 29th, during the onset of the polar vortex, we welcomed our precious McKenzie Faith.
She completes our family. 💕
We have had wonderful experiences Read More
Anthony and I embarked on a unique journey last January. The journey isn’t quite finished but our Rent-a-Chick educational program is fast approaching and we wanted to begin sharing the story with you.
As most of you know we started our Rent-a-Chick program when we were stationed in California back in 2012 and then moved it here after we received orders to PCS to Offutt AFB in 2014.
Our Rent-a-Chick educational program teaches families about farm life by caring for two chicks; learning how to feed, water, exercise, and love on little critters that are completely dependent on them. (You can read Read More
*Warning: This post contains information on hunting and pictures of animals shot and butchered. If you are a meat eater but prefer to pretend that the meat you eat doesn’t actually come from a living animal, do not read this post. If you are vegetarian, well…we understand that each animal has a life and we do our best to respect that life and the environment they live in. We will just have to agree that we disagree.
This was an exciting hunt because it was the first year that our oldest two sons got drawn for tags. In Arizona you go through a lottery on what unit you are allowed Read More
Love, Anthony & Mariel
Uhg, another rainy day. Feels like it’s been over a week since the sun has been out. Living in a travel trailer with this much rain is a bit of a challenge. We are dry and warm but mud is hard to keep outside. Even with the use of our mud room.
Life is always full of challenges isn’t it? And it seems each stage of life morphs into different ones, even if they sometimes seem to be the same ones.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is it is about handling these challenges as opportunities. Opportunities to learn something, to gain knowledge, empathy, wisdom, and most important to do Read More
Finally we are ready for visitors at the new farm location in Blair, NE. If you are used to coming to our old farm, we are now only 10 short minutes North of that location, right off of Hwy 133.
The animals are still in temporary shelters since we don’t have access to much of the property until after the fall harvest but we have been busy cleaning up lots of trash, building tee-pees, cutting trails, putting up tire obstacles, and more!
One of our major projects has been finishing the temporary farm office. Electrical, water, setting up all the fridges and freezers, only thing left is putting down tile on Read More