This week we’re in Columbia Falls, Montana (pop. 4,710) with Alyson Dorr of The Red Barn. Alyson is a fourth generation farmer who is helping bring up the next generation of family farm kids. She and her husband Casey share their little slice of heaven through The Red Barn, their luxury loft vacation rental, their farm-grown peppermint oil, raw honey, and pastured, all-natural pork. And she’s telling us all about it on today’s podcast.
Living in the middle of nowhere was never a thought that crossed this city girl’s mind! I know you’ve heard this scenario a time or two — “city girl meets country boy.” I can truly say there is something that magically happens when country meets city. I call it, “Wheat and Roses.” In my early 20’s, falling in love with my farmer/rancher was all things exciting, new, and came with lots of learning curves. This new found country lifestyle was packed full of changes for me.
I left my job working for the county almost four years ago to be more available to our ranch. Even though our older boys became extremely helpful, there was always more to do as we grew our herd and then of course our family. We had Cass in 2016 and my role on the ranch took a different turn. Looking for ways to create income from home while chasing a toddler, Ag Swag was born.
While Josh always dreamed of one day owning and operating a farm, there was one problem: neither he nor I had a family farm to come back to. Josh’s dad worked as a farm manager locally, and that’s where he realized his love of farming. In 2006, we heard through the small-town grapevine that a farmer named Jim in Harrington was getting ready to retire and didn’t know yet what he wanted to do with his farm. Josh decided he was just going to write Jim a letter and I remember him saying, “What’s the worst he can say? No?”
This week on the podcast we’re with Natalie Kovarik and JaTanna Williams of Ranch Wives Beef Co., based out of their ranches in rural Nebraska and Montana. From their Montana roots to pharmacy school and now back to the ranch, you’ll love hearing about the ‘why’ behind Ranch Wives Beef Co. and the ins and outs of their partnership and how they make it all work.
This week on the podcast we’re in Gridley, California (pop. 6,937) with third generation rice farmer Matthew Sligar. Matthew started Rice Farming TV to help promote and educate people on the California rice industry through weekly videos on YouTube, and he’s gained quite a following. He’s talking all things rice farming and how his videos have opened up some great opportunities.
This week on the podcast we’re sitting down with Randa Starnes of Tennessee River Music Company, a registered Hereford and Angus operation in Fort Payne, Alabama. Randa’s talking about life on their family’s cattle production farm, what it’s like to grow up with a famous dad, and how they unexpectedly grew their operation with a new business venture.
This week on the podcast we’re talking with farm manager Stephanie Ballantine from Kiron, Iowa (pop. 279). Stephanie unexpectedly found herself widowed and faced with the decision of whether or not to continue the farming operation she and her husband had built together. She made the decision to keep the farm operation going, and she’s sharing about her journey and what she has learned along the way.
This week on the podcast we’re talking with Becky Wilber of Wilber Fertilizer Service in Cherokee, Oklahoma. If you’re thinking about moving back to rural America, this episode is for you. This is a really important discussion where Becky shares openly and honestly about her decision to move back to her hometown and help run the family business, and why she says it was one of the hardest - but best - decisions of her life.
Stephanie Bradley Fryer is a lawyer and cattle producer from both Stamford, Texas and Chattanooga, Oklahoma - who also happens to be a fifth generation landowner. This week on the podcast she’s telling more about how she makes it work splitting her time between two places, and how she’s established her place as a woman in both ag and law.