Wow, in all the conversations I’ve had with fellow agriculturalists and all the blogs I’ve written, I just realized that I have NEVER written a blog about my own farming history and where I come from. Jeez, how could I have missed that! Well, here is my remedy to that!
For those of you who don’t know me, I am a 21-year old college student who grew up in a tiny, rural town. I graduated with 75 people and knew every one of them as they crossed the stage. I live on five acres and can see farmland as far as the eye can see. My county is one of the top five agricultural counties in the state and the county that second highest in dairy production in Michigan. My farm love lies with a different species, however–pigs!
I can’t remember a time when there weren’t pigs at my house. Starting as my dad’s Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) when he was a FFA member, raising hogs has always been a part of my life. Since both of my parents work off the farm, I guess you could call us hobby farmers. While our numbers have fluctuated over the years, we’ve kept between 6 and 10 sows most recently. Litters from these sows are raised mostly for show pigs and are purchased by local 4-H and FFA members. Most of our litters are crossbred, but within recent years we have been breeding some purebred litters for my sister and I to show at the National Junior Summer Spectacular in Louisville, Kentucky.
Apart from our hogs, we also have been involved in raising sheep as a joint project of the Sanilac FFA Chapter, of which my dad is the advisor. We have 40 ewes that are bred every fall and lamb in the winter for fair lambs. I showed lambs all through my time in 4-H and still enjoy working with them today.
While I may not be your typical farm girl (trust me, the smell of pigs is not my idea of perfume!), I cannot imagine where I would be without my livestock background. My work with animals led to a strong involvement in 4-H and FFA, which in turn led to a career path in Agriscience Education and Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications. I love the agricultural industry and all it stands for. After college, I hope to live in an area where I can raise livestock–if only for my kids to show them at the fair!
Fun Facts about Me:
- I think pigs are the smartest livestock animal. Seriously, they “do their business” in the same spot in the pen and won’t over-eat. Try arguing with that cattle, sheep, and horse people!
- I’ve actually got a lot to learn when it comes to treating animals (ex: giving injections, artificial insemination). I regret not being more hands-on with that part of raising animals.
- I LOVE social media! I think it is an awesome way to tell the ag story!