Monday, October 3, 2016

Motivation Monday: Why I Farm Roadtrip Week 22

Hello again, Monday! I can't believe I've got another week of the Why I Farm Roadtrip is under my belt. I'm starting week 22 traveling the Midwest today. Here are a few stories that have been especially meaningful to me this week.

Ohio farmer: Rachael Vonderhaar
“I think what’s unique about the agricultural community as a whole is when we do have, what you would call free time, we choose to use it for improving our communities. Your farmers are the ones who are participating in a lot of your non-profit organizations because we care about the ground so much. We care about the community we live in. It’s just who agriculture is. We’re caretakers. We’re looking to raise food for the people around us, and we care for the people we’re raising the food for. I think sometimes that’s the part that gets missed is how much agriculture’s not only investing into the food system, but the community in which they live. Agriculture is willing to step up because we love our community, this is where our roots are. We want to make sure it develops into a community we want to be a part of and proud of. That makes you willing to give your time, your hands, and your heart.” – Rachael Vonderhaar of Vonderhaar Farms in Camden, OH

Ohio farmers: Keith & Beverly Schmidt
“Farming is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I worked construction when I didn’t have enough to farm to make a living, but farming was always my goal. We had some good neighbors who helped us get started. And I couldn’t have done it without my wife. There were times we couldn’t buy a gallon of milk, but we made it. Had it not been for her encouragement and us working together, we would never have made it. I think we’d do it all over again. Even with the struggles. It gets in your blood and you do anything to survive, just so you can keep farming.” – Keith and Beverly Schmidt of Eaton, OH

Maryland farmer: Robert Black
“My dad got the farm in 1961. In the beginning, my father had worked for the owner, Mr. Kelbaugh. Mr. Kelbaugh had no children and my father got more interested in it, so they worked out the deal that if my father did a good job of managing it, he would help share in the profits. That’s how my father got this farm. It’s kind of unique. Today, the farm is divided into 80 percent orchard, and 20 percent vegetables and other produce. My sister and I are here seven days a week basically. We’re crazy, but that’s just what we do. It’s neat to see folks say, ‘Man that’s the best cantaloupe I have ever eaten!’ If the fruit doesn’t taste good, then we don’t sell it. That’s kind of our motto. It has to taste good.” – Robert Black of Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Thurmont, Maryland.

Click on the photos to read each farmer's original post. I hope their stories inspire you to think about your community, care for your neighbors, and work hard this week. Happy Monday! Thanks for reading!

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