Our family: Jeff farms full-time, Shelley works part-time as a dental hygienist, 19-year-old daughter Alexandria is a college freshman, and son Levi is a 16-year-old high school sophomore.
How we met: We grew up together as neighbors. We started going steady at 13- and 14-years-old and never stopped!
Why we are members: We joined Farm Bureau when we married in 1986. We were youth advisers at one time, but initially joined for the benefits. This includes Nationwide Insurance, as well as the representation we receive at the state and national levels. Our farm: We raise field corn. We also raise microwave popcorn for Con-Agra packaged under ACT II and Orville Redenbacher and food grade soybeans for HAPI-O (Honda); most of these are shipped to Japan for tofu and soy milk.
Our hardest chore: The hardest farm chore is cleaning out the planter and combine each time we change from soybeans to popcorn. The companies do not want any cross contamination in their varieties. This constant cleaning ensures purity of the crop.
What motivates us: To make our community better for everyone! We have always looked forward to our future. We may not know what God has in store for us, but it is usually pretty exciting.
Community: Through the years we’ve been active in children’s ministry, 4-H and Farm Bureau. Shelley is currently teaching Sunday School and has worked in Vacation Bible School. Jeff was on the Allen County Fair Board for six years. He was also active in the local and state Young Farmer Organization in the past.
Our county: We live near Lafayette in Jackson Township in Allen County. Our county is best known for its outstanding fair!
Biggest misconception heard on the farm: Last fall we hosted a farm visit for community organizers from three surrounding states. What surprised us the most was that many of the individuals had no idea where their food came from. Many of these same individuals had never been outside of their own communities, let alone on a farm. It was very enlightening for both parties involved. It was nice to be able to share the time with them answering their questions, and squelching their misconceptions about farmers and farming. Many were shocked to know that farmers use high tech equipment such as GPS and computers every day.