My Farm Roots http://kcur.org en My Farm Roots: Touch The Ground http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-touch-ground <p>As a young man, Elisha Pullen never imagined he would spend his days on the farm.</p><p>Growing up near rural Bell City in southeastern Missouri’s “Bootheel” region, Pullen longed to leave the farm and get an education.</p><p>“I grew up in the day and time when we had to do a lot of chopping and stuff like that. Hard labor,” Pullen said. “I’m going to college, I’m getting my degree and I’m going to work in the air conditioning.”</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:38:50 +0000 Jacob McCleland 58598 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: Touch The Ground My Farm Roots: Smells Like Home http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-smells-home <p>Most family vacations are remembered for endless car rides, packed tourist beaches and a string of poorly decorated hotel rooms.</p><p>But not former Nebraskan and current Coloradan Kari Williams. Her family vacation memories center on smells of cow manure, adventures on horseback and roosters with bad attitudes on farms in central Nebraska.</p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:23:45 +0000 Luke Runyon 58269 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: Smells Like Home My Farm Roots: Community Counts http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-community-counts <p>Matt Pauly has traveled the world &nbsp;– he’s lived in New York, Paris and South Korea – but he’s still a farm boy at heart.</p><p>Ask him about growing up in tiny Denton, Kan., population less than 200. You’ll hear about mending fences in the summer. He’ll talk about harvest-time picnics in the fields – roast beef, mashed potatoes, a big thermos of iced tea, delivered by his grandmother. And of course, there’s his eight-man football career at his tiny 1A high school (2000 Kansas State Champions.)&nbsp;</p> Wed, 28 Aug 2013 12:41:05 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld 42703 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: Community Counts My Farm Roots: Born To Farm http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-born-farm-0 <p>One sign that you have strong farm roots is when your rural road is named for your family.</p><p>I met Steve Quandt on Quandt Road, north of Grand Island, Neb., on the farm that used to belong to his grandfather. It’s the place he remembers spending days as a kid, from morning to night, helping milk cows, work the fields and repair machinery.</p><p>He followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, building his own farming operation. But that path was suddenly interrupted nearly six years ago.</p> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 13:40:40 +0000 Grant Gerlock 42320 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: Born To Farm My Farm Roots: Winning Respect http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-winning-respect <p>Danelle Myer owns a small vegetable farm and like many other small farmers, she’s passionate about the kind of operation she wants to grow: a small, local business.</p><p>Myer’s farm just outside Logan, Iowa, sits in the middle of true farm country. Thousands of acres of row crops make up the landscape. Her vegetable farm is almost out of place, even though Myer is a native – she grew up on her family’s conventional farm, a quarter-acre of which she has turned into <a href="http://www.one-farm.com/">One Farm</a>.</p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 13:24:03 +0000 Amy Mayer 41941 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: Winning Respect My Farm Roots: Tough Guys In The Saddle http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-tough-guys-saddle <p>I met Nate Pike working on a story back in 2012. When I dropped back by his ranch 30 miles south of Dodge City, Kan., this summer, he took me on a bumpy pickup ride to see a spring called St. Jacob’s Well and we got to talking about the former owner of some of his ranchland.</p><p>Pike has been out on his ranch for a while and he told me the former owner started ranching in western Kansas before 1900.</p><p>“He was a fine old gentleman and one of the toughest old men I ever knew,” Pike told me, his gravelly voice carrying over the pickup truck’s rambles.</p> Wed, 07 Aug 2013 13:27:00 +0000 Frank Morris 41549 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: Tough Guys In The Saddle My Farm Roots: Providing From The Land http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-providing-land <p>As a child, Robert Harris Jr. worked the cotton fields of southeastern Missouri’s bootheel. Like many sharecroppers’ children, he fled that life. Now, four decades later, the harvest is calling him again, this time to grow food for the needy in a bunch of community gardens in Cape Girardeau, Mo.</p><p>I met with Robert in a garden just outside a food pantry that distributes his produce. We poked through the lush patch of vegetables, full of plump yellow squash and green cucumbers. Soft-spoken and humble, Harris said he had a connection to plants from an early age.</p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 13:21:05 +0000 Jacob McCleland 41154 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: Providing From The Land My Farm Roots: Looking Back Fondly http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-looking-back-fondly <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">More than once while I was listening to Paul Horel's stories about farm life in Iowa, I felt like I was at a family reunion. With his glasses and balding head, mild Midwestern accent, and talk about plowing and politics, he could easily have been my uncle.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 14:58:30 +0000 Justine Greve 40347 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: Looking Back Fondly My Farm Roots: Hardwired For Hard Work http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-hardwired-hard-work <p>Amy Konishi says when her obituary is written it’ll read, “All she knew was work.”</p><p>It’ll be a fitting tribute given the 87-year-old’s work ethic. As a young girl she toiled in her family’s onion and cantaloupe and dry bean fields outside Rocky Ford, Colo. Then she moved to selling produce at her husband’s roadside shed along the highway. In the 1950s she opened her own hair salon and she’s been putting in hours ever since. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 39897 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: Hardwired For Hard Work My Farm Roots: Wings http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-wings <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 21px;">Kelly Hagler, 25, is among the millions of young people who have left rural communities for the bright lights of the city, in this case Chicago.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 21px;">But Hagler has not left completely.</p> Wed, 03 Jul 2013 12:48:36 +0000 Donna Vestal 39527 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: Wings My Farm Roots: A Cowboy At Heart http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-cowboy-heart <p>Trent Johnson didn’t grow up on a farm, but he was always enamored with the cowboy lifestyle.</p><p>He sure looks the part now. I visited him in his custom cowboy hat shop in Greeley, Colo. In a sleek black cowboy hat and blue western shirt, Johnson delivers the modern cowboy aesthetic.</p><p>During college he hung out with the urban cowboy crowd, which included concerts for country idols like Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw. The city kid, who’d spent part of his childhood on a ski team, decided he needed a change.</p> Wed, 26 Jun 2013 12:55:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 39164 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: A Cowboy At Heart My Farm Roots: A Song In Her Heart http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-song-her-heart <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">Jackie Dougan Jackson keeps a pretty thorough log of her life. The 85-year-old retired college professor lives in Springfield, Ill., and has lived there for more than 40 years. However, she has devoted a lot of time to her first 22 years, when she lived on a family farm near Beloit, Wisc.</p> Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:39:28 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 38788 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: A Song In Her Heart From Pastime To Passion http://kcur.org/post/pastime-passion <p>Aaron Troester’s life both did, and didn’t, turn out exactly the way he planned.</p><p> Wed, 19 Sep 2012 18:20:25 +0000 Hilary Stohs-Krause 24747 at http://kcur.org From Pastime To Passion Grateful To Be Home http://kcur.org/post/grateful-be-home <p>Rose Alderson is a bright-eyed, energetic grandmother who loves her home a few miles outside of Nickerson, Kan.</p><p> Wed, 12 Sep 2012 17:11:16 +0000 Frank Morris 24385 at http://kcur.org Grateful To Be Home Family On The Family Farm http://kcur.org/post/family-family-farm <p>Brandon Fahrmeier had a nice job as a sales rep in Ohio for a large company. He and his wife had a nice suburban home. Then they had kids.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 05 Sep 2012 20:30:33 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld 24014 at http://kcur.org Family On The Family Farm Breaking Away From The Flock http://kcur.org/post/breaking-away-flock <p>Rhonda McClure seems to approach farming with a homesteader’s resourcefulness, but she adds her own modern flair. McClure and her husband Don sell fleece and home spun yarn across the country. But Rhonda is also a quilter and fiber artist who uses the wool in her own creations.</p> Tue, 21 Aug 2012 15:04:52 +0000 Grant Gerlock 23185 at http://kcur.org Breaking Away From The Flock Home Is Where The Farm Is http://kcur.org/post/home-where-farm <p>It was a warm day when I interviewed Ryan Brady, but we sat outside to talk. Discussing farm life didn&#39;t seem right with walls between us and the land.</p><p> Mon, 13 Aug 2012 20:00:00 +0000 Justine Greve 22735 at http://kcur.org Home Is Where The Farm Is Making A Mark All His Own http://kcur.org/post/making-mark-all-his-own <p>When a guy is a mechanical engineer at a nuclear power plant, you figure he puts in a pretty good day of work.</p><p> Wed, 08 Aug 2012 13:47:52 +0000 Peggy Lowe 22411 at http://kcur.org Making A Mark All His Own Lightening The Load http://kcur.org/post/lightening-load <p>Ninety years ago this May, my grandfather, Ronald Merle Phillips, and his twin brother, Robert Earl, were born on a farm near Chetopa, Kan.</p><p> Mon, 30 Jul 2012 17:01:46 +0000 Camille Phillips 21860 at http://kcur.org Lightening The Load Just Taking Notes http://kcur.org/post/just-taking-notes <p>Sometimes farm roots don&rsquo;t blossom into a farm life. But those memories can still have a huge influence, perhaps even determining a career choice.</p><p> Tue, 24 Jul 2012 15:46:19 +0000 Donna Vestal 21538 at http://kcur.org Just Taking Notes Making A Home Out On The Ranch http://kcur.org/post/making-home-out-ranch <p>It&rsquo;s not every day that a trip to the drug store can change your destiny. Wed, 18 Jul 2012 19:52:01 +0000 Peggy Lowe 21165 at http://kcur.org Making A Home Out On The Ranch Farming Means Family http://kcur.org/post/farming-means-family <p>Kate Edwards hasn&rsquo;t always been a farmer. No, she came back to the farm after college, grad school and a stint as an environmental engineer. Wed, 11 Jul 2012 18:33:30 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld 20851 at http://kcur.org Farming Means Family 'My Farm Roots' Collects Stories From The Land http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-collects-stories-land <p>Many people in the Kansas City area have close ties to agriculture, whether they currently work on a farm, or grew up on one and left. Or maybe their ancestors settled in the region to work the land.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 09 Jul 2012 16:38:54 +0000 Sylvia Maria Gross 20708 at http://kcur.org 'My Farm Roots' Collects Stories From The Land