Back ground ...

So how did we come to this point? Well I'll tell you...

First of all I am Jodi (the wife and domestic farm diva)! I was born in the city, lived for the most part, in cities/towns all my life until I moved to Manitoba in 1990. Here I met and became very good friends with this farm boy, Dennis, who had no use for the city or anything remotely city or town-ish.  Dennis was born in B.C. but his folks moved back to Manitoba when he was 8, so he was basically raised on a farm from 1977 til now (and forever.. :D)

We spent the better part of 2 years getting to know each other and become best friends... then we started dating and knew IMMEDIATELY that we were destined to be together forever. So after a very brief  dating life  and a semi-short (7months) engagement we were, 1993, married in a large wedding in a very small town!

Dennis and I farmed a mix farm with his parents in the same town he had lived in for almost his entire life! Here on the farm we had beef cattle, some pigs, a few chickens, a horse and we grew most (if not all) of the feed for the animals via grain and/or silage! I helped on the farm when possible - which meant in between pregnancies and babies.  Most of the farming practices at this time were of conventional methods and a few trials of 'new fangled ideas' (thots of neighbours and some family members) such as rotations of crops & pastures. Dennis worked 24/7 on the farm. We didst live ON the farm but 3 miles away in the small town. He would drive to the farm everyday and come home at night and didn't get to see much of our kids growing up.

Fast forward this to a few years (4 kids later) and we left the farm to start a 'real' (notice the 'quotes' please) job in a larger town but on our own farm just outside of the town. We bought a few sheep (and goats), chickens for both meat and eggs,  had a few calves wander into the barn via grandpa- as it was decided that the kids needed a calf (insert mom here) to bottle feed. We also had a 4-H steer (Cecile) one year. Dennis was working out first on the line at the local Hog Plant, then after we both went to college (Dennis for his AgriBusiness and I for Education Assistant), Dennis worked for both the Provincial Government in the agriculture sector as a plot technician and then for the Federal Government at the Hog Plant again but in a role that was with the CFIA (Canadian Federal Inspection Agency). I was mostly a stay at home mom but I had a few jobs as an Education Assistant at our kids schools and as the secretary at our church.

All while we were busy with these areas and times of our lives we were always farming in some way or form. Dennis was almost always educating himself on new, more efficient, more cost effective ways to farm -- just in case we ever won a lottery. He began to really look more into the holistic way of farming. Looking at the WHOLE picture, not just what was happening IN the field but TO the field and all that was connected to it. Both Dennis and I figured early on that there MUST be a better way to farm where you had more time with family, friends and each other that didn't always revolve around work and the farm. There had to be a way to actually make money at farming too (without winning a lottery). Why should a farmers money always go to the fuel companies, the seed companies, the fertilizer companies!? Why can a farmer not have some money and time to play just as other people do!? There HAD to be a way... and we think we found it!! Or rather Allan Savory found it and we just happened to stumble onto his way of thinking!

We will fast forward to 2008. In July our second son was seriously injured in a freak accident. This kept us very busy for that summer (and still does in some aspects). 6 weeks after we returned home with Sam from the hospital my mom's husband passed away from a massive heart attack.

Mom and Dwayne had a big business out west and a farm that was here in Manitoba. It was a two fold operation there was first a feedlot and then Dwayne bought the farm across the road from their house and started a cow/calf operation to feed into the feed lot. When Dwayne passed my mom asked if we could come and look after that end of it as the guy that was doing it was leaving. Dennis and I discussed it, sold our farm and moved the 30 miles north to an area that was familiar to us... 3 miles from where we used to farm with his folks! (so... that is my mom across the road and Dennis' parents 3 miles away!!)
Now four years later we are running the cow/calf operation and trying to make a living here. We are working to get the land back to a healthy state, the cattle are handled in as low of stress handlings as possible, we are using the tractors less and letting the cattle do the job God intended them to do- work for US not the other way around!

Dennis and I are very blessed to be able to work together and live together and still like each other after the sun goes down, and we both know that that is rare these days but we are determined to make it work. Our kids all help when we need it and they even seem to enjoy it once we get going! This past weekend we preg checked, castrated and tagged bull calves and we had fun! I tried to take some pictures but was only able to get 2 as the low stress handling we do made things move so quick and relatively smooth there was no time to stop and take pictures!  (maybe next time!)

So that is a brief (but not really) history of our history with farming. Dennis may tell it a bit different ... maybe I can get him to do a post on it before we go much further into our posts on life on the farm... we'll have to see if I have a peach pie in the freezer to entice him with ;) ...

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