Heritage and family roots run deep for us. My husband’s great-great grandfather homesteaded across the road from where we currently live in the early 1900’s. His great-grandfather purchased the land that we currently live on in the mid-1910’s. His grandfather was rised in the old cabin, still partially standing in the bush in our yard site. His father grew up in the house that we now live in; currently raising the 6th generation here at Crooked Lake Farm.
Being the 5th generation to farm, we are often asked, “How do we do it?” That’s not the easiest of questions to answer. When you grow up farming or ranching, it’s in your blood and it’s what you know.
I go by Jill. My favourite three things in life are: Cows, Coffee & Wine. I think of my role on the farm as “The Boss Lady” but I usually end up as “The Grunt”. I grew up on a farm in Illinois and later, a ranch in Montana, and was active in 4-H and FFA. When I was 13, I decided I was going to be a veterinarian when I grew up. That was my goal even when I entered University. After the reality of 8 years of school actually hit me, I decided for a lesser term in post-secondary, and obtained a Bachelors of Science degree in Range Science. I studied GRASS! After spending a few years working in Range Management and after the birth of our daughter I decided for a stay at home career–direct marketing our beef. Four years ago, I began my journey into agriculture writing, and am now a freelance agriculture journalist. I also recently became a homeschool mom to our oldest.
Now on to a little bit about the others…
Kelly, my husband or “The Boss”, is a farmer through, and through. He helped out as a youngster pitching in whenever he was able to help. His grandma tells me stories about him on the farm: helping butcher chickens or him taking care of his sheep. He even about missed his high school graduation because a cow was stuck in the muck near the sewer pump-out and he was the only one around to rescue her! He went to post-secondary college and university and majored in Agriculture. He can sit in a tractor, let the auto-steer guidance system work, and not get bored!
The 6th generation…or as we affectionally refer to them as “The Big One” (our oldest son), “Mini-Me” (our daughter), and “Little” (our youngest son). The Big One gives us a run for our money, but what 12 year old doesn’t. He loves all things farm, is homeschooled, and enjoys helping his dad & papa on the farm. My Mini-Me is 5 and is a huge help on the farm for her age. She enjoys being outside, going to kindergarten, and doing anything Mom does. Little is just shy of 18 months old. So far, he enjoys looking at “talking” to the animals and going for rides in the tractor and combine. He’s a busy little guy and keeps us all on our toes!