Read the first article in this series here.
Not long ago, Iowa pork producer Erin Brenneman was looking at her boys’ toy tractors and implements. Some of the little wagons still held soybeans from the fall harvest. “Then it hit me,” she recalls. “My boys live and breathe the farm as much as I do, and this is why I share. This is why it is so important that I tell our family farm story to anyone who is willing to listen. It is so one day, my kids can feel and share the same passion I have about the farm.”
Brenneman wants to ensure her boys have the same opportunity to be part of a family operation—and something bigger than themselves—that she’s had. She’s paving the way for them by helping consumers understand agriculture, and by showing thousands of farmers how they can have a similar impact.
She does this “so that, some night, I can look out my window and know that the tractor lights I see blazing back and forth across the field are the ones from my son working the field as his dad and grandpa have taught him,” she says. “It is so I can bring my boys out to the pigs with me and assign them tasks that they know are centered on care and respect for the animal. I want my sons to know that they can make a living farming for their family, and make food for the entire world.
“Like their grandpa says, ‘every day you need to wake up and think, what can I do better today,’” she says. “How fortunate I am to have such a wonderful farm and great people to look up to and guide me through this crazy journey as a pig farmer—all without ever owning a pair of denim overalls.”
Read more about Erin Brenneman:
This article was featured in the May 2018 issue of Farm Journal's Pork.