I was honored that Erika asked me to be a guest blogger. It is out of my comfort zone, big time!!! I have been asked to talk about our farm before, but have always thought, “why would anyone care to hear about our farm?”. But, people do.
I wish social media was always used for good. I wish people would listen, ask questions, and learn to accept some other ways that people live.
Have you ever wanted to share something on social media but felt a little apprehensive about what others might say and think of you? I know I have, a lot! Whether it's about our farming practices, son's showing animals for 4H or FFA, hunting, or being a police family.
I am an only child that was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be a farmer. My family and I did a lot of traveling. After graduating, I became a flight attendant. “Red tips and red lips” was the motto. I laugh when I think about that now!!
My husband and I just celebrated our sixth anniversary this month which reminds me of the time when the “farm life” wasn’t my every day. We had no children. I didn’t wake up at 5:30 am to workout and enjoy my coffee in silence. I spent my days worried about me, myself and I – what I wore, my skincare routine, makeup and what I ate.
Now, I have never been much of a “health nut”. But, I vividly remember a time in my college years where I would reach for the “natural” or “organic” foods in the grocery aisle. It is because somehow, likely due to marketing, I thought those foods were better for my health in some way.
Even after my husband, a fifth-generation farmer, and I got married, I still didn’t fully immerse myself in the farm life. Nor, did I understand what amazing things we, as farmers, are raising and how well we are taking care of our land and livestock. I trusted the...
“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” -Romans 1:20
The best thing about living and working on a farm is getting to experience all of God’s beautiful creation everyday! The older I get, the more I appreciate the beauty in His creation. Like big puffy white clouds in a perfectly blue sky.
Momma cows bawling for their young babies to come to their side. Putting millions of little tiny kernels of corn 1/2” under the soil and watching the blades push through the fresh, soft dirt just six days later. It’s all so amazing to me and I’m so thankful I get to witness it all! I LOVE farm life.
But what really confuses me is how a person could not believe there is a God who so carefully set this earth on it’s axis to orbit the sun...
Every family’s path and purpose looks different. Ours has been one that hasn’t given us much space to travel far distances for very long. We’ve been content with that. We would have if we could have. It’s not that we’re against those things. I’m a vagabond soul by nature. I love to GO but life has called me to stay a lot.
We always get asked, “How do you get away from farm life?” The truth is, it hasn’t always been like this. We’re 13 years into farming, and it took us years to be able to get to this point. I distinctly remember those early years of not being able to go somewhere more than a few days if at all. Sometimes, we just stayed put. For a wandering soul like mine who’s always up for an adventure, this was hard.
I learned a lot about contentment during those years and actively seeking adventure and gratitude right where I was. 13 years into this and we have a crew of incredible people who can...
Everyone thinks that butchering day is the saddest day on a farm, but I can assure you it isn’t. There is a melancholy cloud that settles on the place as the day nears but there are a lot of other feelings, too. Satisfaction, pride, fulfillment, and an odd wave of relief at having crossed a finish line that felt so far away on the day he was born.
People usually tell me that they couldn’t bear to butcher an animal they’ve raised since birth, that it would be too hard to say goodbye or too sad to never see them again. Some goodbyes are never easy, but the weight of butchering these animals pales in comparison to the pride of being able to supply people with something they feel better about eating, with meat from an animal who lived as wild and free as he possibly could, and who was sincerely adored from the day he was born. Meat from an animal who made this environment a healthier, more vibrant ecosystem for his brothers and sisters, for local wildlife, and...
Last weekend Father Brunkan gave that same knock me over the head message that I was needing to hear at the exact moment that he gave it…
Father Brunkan told a story of a little boy and his interest in a cocoon that a man had. The man had told the young boy not to touch or bother the cocoon. As time passed the young boy saw the butterfly inside starting to beat its wings against the inside of the cocoon. The young boy panicked and did the opposite of his instructions and broke open the cocoon to help the butterfly get out.
To his amazement the butterfly didn’t flutter away, instead, it dropped to the ground and died. The boy was embarrassed and sheepishly returned to the man.
The man explained to him that the butterfly NEEDED to struggle and beat its wings against the cocoon to build the strength to survive outside of the cocoon.
The first thing that popped into my head-Parenting! As parents, there...
I am Dr. Marissa Hake and I am totally honored to be featured on @4F_Farms. Honestly, only recently did I learn that the “4F’s” stood for faith, family, farming and friends. I LOVE this and I hope that through my posts I can represent the 4F’s well.
As a veterinarian, I am a bit specialized… as in I really only work with veal calves. Yes, VEAL. Before you scroll on, hear me out on modern veal production.
For one, they have a veterinarian on staff, so that must say a little bit about their commitment to calf care. For two, since when do other women in Ag judge a book by its cover… even if the cover is really old and very outdated? Veal production has changed by leaps and bounds over the last 30-40 years (you know, just like EVERY other sector of Ag).
Unfortunately, as a very small industry, it’s hard to come back from bad press. Luckily, pages like @4F_Farms allow people from other industries to come on and share...
It's the season in my part of the country, much like other parts, where we are preparing for our county fair. As the years go on we have become professional fair parents of sorts. I have special coolers and boxes tightly packed. I have garment bags that can withstand a sand storm. We carry hair spray that can hold a child's braid or a steer's tail ball, perfectly teased like bangs of a 1980s teen girl headed to prom.
My husband is able to manage: a tweenager meltdown, shine the hooves of a steer like a boot polisher in a New York City subway terminal, all while handing out cash to wayward children begging for a carnival ride.
Fair is a moment in our life where time stands still. Fair has looked the same for decades. It could be 1967. The quiet musty barns become festive stages for fancy livestock to lay in fresh pine shavings. City residents walk through and marvel at their size and the children that raise them.
Farm and ranch folk meander along pointing...
I am not a person who follows celebrity gossip. Well, let’s say that I fall somewhere between I’ve never seen the Bachelor or the Real Housewives of Anywhere and sometimes I watch interviews of my favorite celebs on YouTube.
I’ve also never understood the devastation that some people feel over the loss of a celebrity. I mean, I get it. It’s sad when anyone passes, but you didn’t know them personally and had probably never even seen them in real life. So, are tears really necessary?
Then, in 2014, Robin Williams died. And I was…lost.
Thinking about it now, I’m sure it was more about me than him, but he was the first celebrity that had died that I felt a personal connection to. I wanted to be him.
By all accounts, he was caring, generous, kind, and, of course, hilarious. When he walked into a room, or onto your screen, you couldn’t help but smile. He had a presence about him that I desperately wanted. Then,...
Fifteen months ago, my husband and I were soon to become empty nesters with the last of our 5 children preparing to attend the Virginia Military Institute. I had big plans for us to sell our farm and move to a nearby lake - a place where our children and future grandchildren would love to visit. But God had a different plan.
March 2018, I remember Mike asking me to meet him in the pasture. As I approached him, I noticed his eyes were filled with unusual excitement and childlike wonderment.
I remember his exact words, “I’ve been thinking and talking to God. I can’t imagine He would want us to leave our farm. What if we create a place where people can visit and spend time with farm animals. Can you imagine children filling this farm again?”
In that moment, the trajectory of our lives changed as he shared the plan God had laid on his heart to open our farm as an agri-tourism educational...