Joan Ruskamp

Joan Ruskamp

Dodge, Nebraska
I grew up a city girl dreaming of the farm life. My childhood love for animals drew me into the field of veterinary medicine. When I met my husband in 1980, our common values of faith and family along with a combined desire to build a farm of our own led to our marriage in late-1981. We bought the 40 acres Steve’s grandfather received as a wedding gift in 1914 and raised our five children in the same house my father-in-law grew up in. Since that original purchase we have added ground and built pens for cattle. We are able to utilize nutrients from our manure and holding pond for the corn and soybeans we grow. We hold all the water flowing into and on our farm into a six acre (1 acre = 1 football field) holding pond, protecting rivers and streams from nutrient runoff and acting as flood control. We bring cattle from regions with the terrain and climate suited for growing grass to our region where we grow grain really well. The cattle are able to utilize resources in a way that enhances the environment while producing tasty and tender beef as well as numerous other items like leather, insulin and gelatin. It is important to me and my husband to protect the environment, show respect for the cattle and provide a quality product in the process.
Our five children have graduated from college following a variety of passions. Four of the five are married blessing us with six grandchildren so far. My husband and I are active in our local church and serve our community as volunteer EMTs and 4-H leaders.