Growing our Generation: Sharing our passion

Jonathan and Shana Angel are the editors of the Dec. 5 Growing our Generation enewsletter, featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.

Jonathan and Shana Angel both came from very different backgrounds. He was an only child growing up in a rural community, with agriculture all around him, yet he had no strong connection to it. She was the youngest of three kids who grew up in a suburban community and lived for the days she would spend on her grandparents farm watching the guys make hay and wasting hours watching the cattle. While neither of us had a strong foundation in agriculture growing up, we got enough of a taste that we were hooked.

2015 was a big year for us. Jonathan became a doctor of veterinary medicine and we got married. That fall we bought our first two registered Hereford cattle and established Angel Family Farms, LLC. On our farm we raise our Herefords and also grow produce for a small CSA that we operate during the summer. We also have about 50 laying hens and several beehives. We operate our farm on Jonathan’s family farm that has not had livestock on it for nearly 50 years. In the last year we have learned so much and are very excited for the future of our farm.

Our mission of our farm is to share the story of agriculture and to teach everyone who interacts with us something they did not know about farming. We want to share our passion with the world around us.

In addition to the farm, Shana currently works as a grain originator for Agland Co-op, Inc and Jonathan works as a large animal veterinarian for Sugarcreek Veterinary Clinic. Shana is on the Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau board of trustees and both Shana and Jonathan are active on their county Young Agricultural Professionals Committee. Shana is also pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural and Extension education at Ohio State University. They live in Tuscarawas County with dogs Mayberry and Lloyd.

House problems, barn problems

We live in a heavily Amish area where Jonathan is a large animal veterinarian. One of the things we hear frequently from the Amish community is about the difference between a house problem and a barn problem.

The first time we heard this, there was a sweet old Amish man whose horse Jonathan was called out to put down. It was his favorite old horse who had been a reliable sidekick for a long time. When Jonathan had finished putting the horse down and expressed his sympathy, the man’s wife explained that the neighbor had just been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and that was a house problem and that putting down that horse was a barn problem. She was very thankful that she only had a barn problem right now.

Since then we have heard the same sentiment expressed over and over again from the Amish community. I think sometimes it is really hard to remember that a barn problem is just a barn problem. Read More

A midnight emergency call

Starting a new job straight out of school can be nerve wracking. You have new responsibilities and everything you trained for is suddenly being put to the test. When a veterinarian steps into their first day of work with their freshly minted “Dr.” in front of their name, it can be overwhelming. They immediately have to start making life and death decisions that affect farmers’ bottom line. By starting slowly and working with more experienced vets, they make it through their first few weeks and start to feel more confident. Finally, your bosses decide you are good enough to take your first on call shift. As a beginning vet, your first on-call experience is one you won’t forget! Read More

I am a female farmer

Many times a day I hear the phrase “farm wife.” The more I talk to, work with and network with these “farm wives,” I find that farm wives are not simply that. Farm wives themselves are farmers. Many times they spend as many hours a day working on the farm as their farmer does and are involved in farm decisions. Simply put these farm wives are farmers themselves. I wrote a blog post a few months back that gives a nod to all of the things that female farmers do and are.

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This e-newsletter is brought to you by Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals. Learn more about Farm Bureau membership, including a discounted category for those 18-24 years old.