Melissa's story is one that most young farmers in Canada would recognize and relate to. She grew up on the farm and married a farm boy. They have a family and both work in agriculture related jobs, but have struggled for years to find their path back onto the farm. The challenges they faced are not so different from those facing most young farmers.
What's unique and inspiring about her story is how she was able to create a completely new future for her family. We spoke to Melissa last spring and she shared this incredible testimonial with us, and the story of what happened after she and her husband Murray watched The FarmOn Manifesto.
"Since meeting in 2006, my husband and I had often talked about how we would love to farm but it always seemed so unattainable. Both sets of parents were still actively farming but a long way from where we were living; moving closer to either of them would mean a huge commitment, and would also mean being 3 hours instead of 45 minutes from a major city…a convenience we would have a difficult time sacrificing. We continued to look for an acreage, a quarter section, or somewhere that we would at least have a little bit of space and be out of town, but couldn’t find anywhere that would work for us. As our kids were growing up, we saw how much they enjoyed visiting and helping out at the farm, and recognized how much we really wanted them to grow up the way that we both did. I had met Ben before and knew about the FarmOn group and the video they had been preparing, and one day last fall I went on their website and watched it.
I’m not sure what I expected from watching the video, but I sure didn’t expect the emotions it evoked. It seemed so simple: if we wanted it, we could do it. Suddenly being 3 hours from a major centre wasn’t a big deal. The financial barriers were surely something we could overcome. All I could think about was how much we wanted that lifestyle, how much we wanted our kids to have that lifestyle.
My husband and I talked about it over the next few days and the following weekend we went out to his parents’ farm and brought up the idea of us moving there. At the first mention of it, his parents said that if we wanted to buy the farm, they were ready to let us take over….it meant so much to them that the farm would stay in the family, since it had been homesteaded by my husband’s great-grandfather in 1910. Things have been progressing since that day, and this week the land is officially transferring to our names. So that’s it, we are officially ranching and are proud to be raising the 5th generation of this family on our land! A huge “thank you” to FarmOn for the inspiration we needed to finally take the leap, it has already been such a rewarding decision."
UPDATE FROM MELISSA & MURRY
So that testimonial was from the spring of 2014. Since then, Melissa and Murray have been busy putting things into motion, packing up their lives and moving their family out to the farm - a dream that evaded them for years, finally becoming a reality. Yesterday, we had a chance to catch up with Melissa, and she was proud to share with us that as of a couple weeks ago, they are now living at the farm in East Central Alberta and loving it!
"We are so proud to be a part of this industry that is our heritage. We have a cow-calf operation with 3 deeded quarters, one leased, and some additional rented. We keep detailed records and follow protocols for beef raised without antibiotics or added hormones, which opens doors to additional markets for our cattle."
From all of us at FarmOn.com, congratulations to Melissa and her family on carrying on the legacy of their families' farming roots. Your story is the perfect example of what The FarmOn Manifesto is all about!
THE FARMON MANIFESTO