Sylvan Sundays

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I’m Back in Farm Broadcasting

I’m Back in Farm Broadcasting

Granted, my original stint was only for a summer, but that definitely counts.

Some background:

During my senior year of high school, I visited with Gary Truitt, a long-time farm broadcaster who had just started a new company called Hoosier Ag Today. I had been interested in radio for a little while and used the news source while studying for FFA competitions. I asked Gary if I could job shadow him, and he said he’d need to make sure I could visit when he went out and about to interview people.

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The Start of Calving Season

The rain pours today. Sheep hunker down, round balls of wool with faces. Cattle munch on hay. Horses enthusiastically chomp on grain. The dog curls up on straw piles in the barn, tail wrapping around ears.

Calving season started last week, two weeks early. Four calves have been born; only two have lived. Most of the mothers have been heifers, first-timers.

I ride a quad bike through the cow pasture, counting to 31 to see that everyone is present.

The number was 32 for a little while.

But when I made my rounds Thursday night, looking for signs of new or about-to-be-born calves, I found a heifer lying to the side. She wasn’t breathing hard, but she didn’t move when I approached, either.

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A Special Announcement

A Special Announcement

I wrote this announcement on Facebook and Instagram and wanted to share it here, too.

With the horses on our wedding day, May 16, 2020. Photo by Rainstorm Photo.

The 16th of each month is special for Jeff and me (Elise), as the day marks how many months we have been married. So it only seemed fitting that today be the day for a Special Announcement.

As we began our new life together, we knew we wanted to farm. We also knew that we wanted to both preserve my farm heritage and incorporate Jeff’s specialties, creating a new path with an exciting future.

So today, we wanted to share the name we have chosen for our farm and agritourism endeavors:

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Our Ring Sheep

Our Ring Sheep

Some losses are worse than others.

Yesterday afternoon, we discovered that our beloved ring sheep, Szarlota, was dead.

It was devastating. She was the first Shetland I bought, and she had won her class at a show in Colorado. Her genetics and conformation were good, and I planned to build a flock from her quality and beautiful personality.

She’d come up for a scratch on the chin, and the day I went to buy her, she followed me around, begging me to take her home. (The full story is at the end of “Sheep Make Everything Better“). Continue reading “Our Ring Sheep”



Every time I attend an agricultural or writer’s meeting, I leave re-energized. I am surrounded by positive people who are interested in similar topics and who share ideas that I can implement in my own work.

It’s important to be part of these associations, whether it’s a group that meets to play tennis once a month or amateur geologists who meet at state parks to discuss the features along a creek.

Working as a farmer and writer, I am involved in two occupations that are currently known for the isolation that is seemingly written into the job description.

But it wasn’t always this way. Large crews used to gather hay by hand, and writers would congregate in the same cities or universities and bounce ideas off of each other. Continue reading “Associations”

This Is Me


This is me.

I’m in the barn on the farm where I grew up, holding the first lamb to be born there in seven years. She’s one of the realizations of a tightly held dream: to be a farmer and shepherd when I grow up.

Ten minutes after this picture was taken, I nearly fell, my knees giving out, suddenly becoming desperate to lie down.

That was nothing new, though. That sort of thing had been happening for several weeks because of weird health issues. Those challenges have continued, but we’re getting closer to an answer. Continue reading “This Is Me”