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 more farm ground and expanded existing cattle pens to sustain our family.
We bring cattle from states like Kentucky with the terrain and climate best suited for growing grass to our region where our climate is best suited for growing row crops like corn and soybeans. Because cattle are ruminant animals, they are able to utilize grass and grain in a way that enhances the environment while producing tasty and tender beef.
There are a variety of ways we seek to improve the environment in the ways we manage our soil and water. We hold all the water flowing into and on our farm in a holding pond. The holding pond is six acres (one acre = one football field) protecting rivers and streams from nutrient runoff while at the same time allowing us to use the water and nutrients to irrigate our row crops of corn and soybeans.
My husband and I are both very active in the day-to-day work on our feedlot and farm. One of my jobs is doing health checks of our cattle every morning. We depend on hired labor to help us as none of our five children have pursued a career here on our farm. Instead, they each graduated from college and followed dreams of their own. Four of the five are married, blessing us with nine grandchildren so far.
Service is an important part of lives at the local, state and national levels. We serve in a variety of roles as volunteer EMTs, church organizations, community organizations, commodity organizations, 4-H and CommonGround.
News from Joan
CommonGround volunteer Joan Ruskamp shares her recipe for a Beefshi Deli Roll using roast beef, ranch dressing, and carrots with Pure Nebraska viewers. Joan Ruskamp’s Beefshi Deli Roll Hand vinegar1 cup water¼ cup rice vinegarDeli Roll2 sheets nori3 cups...
If your family is anything like mine, you’ve likely heard of the infamous “five-second rule.” With this rule, if food is ever dropped, there exists roughly five seconds before it can be picked up and consumed or else the food becomes “dirty” and should be discarded....
Talk: Agriculture is bad for the environment. Truth: Agriculture efficiently cleans up greenhouse gases and converts them into oxygen. Agriculture (livestock production specifically) has been incorrectly linked to causing high greenhouse gas emissions. Some have...