I first met Jarod Weaver in 2004, when I wrote a story about young people farming without the help of family. Jarod was from Fairfield, a town over from where I grew up, and I'm pretty sure we shot the photos when I was home for my 10-year reunion.
Fast-forward a few years and Jarod is married to Carissa, a sweet young woman whose family farmed next door to mine, and they have three kids. Crazy.
And, they're farming 2,000 acres between Albion and Fairfield, raising corn, soybeans and wheat. Carissa manages the office, and they have two full-time employees and two seasonal employees. They're parents to Peyton, 9, Jaron, 4, and Ashlyn, 2. You might say they have their hands full.
Their goal: leave the land better than they found it. Treat everyone with respect. And don't assume anything until you understand both sides of the equation.
"Farming has been part of our family for many years, and it's not just about income," Carissa says.
"It's sentimental. We aren't going to get rich farming but our roots run deep. We hope our children will realize this and want to continue this tradition, while respecting the hard work of the generations before them."
That's something a lot of us hope for.
30 Days of Farm & Families
Day 1: The Webels
Day 2: The Mies Family
Day 3: The Thomases
Day 4: The Stewarts