Welcome to Deer Creek in Southwest Nebraska. As a new member of Common Ground I would like to take this time to introduce you to myself and family on our farm in Frontier County. My name is Andrea (Farr) Sayer and I grew up on our family homestead 10 miles north of Cambridge Ne. I am a farmer's daughter, wife of a mechanic, mother of three, and co-owner of our own small farm DJ's Creek Farm. I'm now 41 years old and happily married to Gregg for 21 years. We have three children Tyson Avery (whom has joined our lord and savior in June of 2009), Dillon James age 17, and Amelia Lea age 15. Both of our children are currently in high school as a junior and freshman respectively. Gregg is the owner of his own mechanic shop (Doyle Auto Repair) in McCook NE.
I'm am the 5th generation of farmers in my family and I have enjoyed a wonderful life because of his great benefit. You see being a farmer means that the clock doesn't exactly run on the worlds time schedule. Yes we still use clocks because when we go to town to do business we have to be there when the business is open. But for the most part we run on 'farm time'. And for those of you new to the experience of farm life this basically means that the farm comes first and you do your best to be sure she is taken care of. From crops to livestock their needs must come first. I get to see many sunrises and lots of great sunsets while working on my families farm and my own micro farm. Lunch or as we call it Dinner can be held anywhere from 12:30 - 2:00 most days on our farm. We currently employ 3 full time and 1 part time hired men to meet the needs of our family farm. That is in addition to my parents, myself, and my son whom currently manage and operate our land and livestock. We have 5000 acres of land on which we have irrigated and dry land row crops and about 350 head of cow/calf pairs, and 80 head of horses.
My speciality comes in the accounting work, livestock production, and the general clean up and repairs around the farmstead. I do help my mother with the meal preparation and clean up for the crew each day as well as maintenance of our garden during the summer and the canning in the fall. I also am the primary care giver to the livestock of our micro farm. I usually arrive some where around 7:30 - 8:00 each morning to start milking my Nubian dairy goats, feeding our Boer goats, and caring for our hogs. My morning chores generally take me anywhere from 2-2 1/2 hours then I turn my attention to the family farms operation. I will work from my chore time until around 7:00 - 7:30 doing bookwork, creating and cleaning up meals, scrubbing and cleaning the main mudroom and the general work of caring for the maintenance in and around the farmstead. Then I switch gears back to my micro farm and restart the choring schedule which will take about another 11/2 to 2 hours. There by putting me home somewhere around 8:30 or 9:00 at night. Might seem like a crazy life and a long day but every time I eat a piece of fresh beef, enjoy a glass of goats milk, or clean up with my great hand made goat soap I know it is worth every moment.
We are currently in my favorite time of the year because its summer and my children are free from the time restrictions of school and come to the farm more to enjoy their lives and learn how to operate this farm for their generation. Dillon is currently working anywhere from 10-12 hours a day on the farm learning to row crop corn, soybeans, wheat, and sorghum for cattle feed. Yes we use GMO products on our farm and I'm proud to say that we feel these are safe and effective tools that have allowed us to produce food for our livestock and for our dinning table. Amelia is busy working with some of the livestock and learning how to clean and maintain the farm equipment. Every time I see their smiling faces over a new skill they have learn my heart melts.
As for our life in town where we have a home I would say it is sparse but effective for our needs. We are rarely at home but when we are my home is filled with teenagers that I get the opportunity to introduce to the wonders of what farming does for everyone in the world. The kids friends often tag along to do chores and the always enjoy the benefits of a great meal. From beef to pork it is all raised on our farm and then we enjoy it at our table. Add to that the raw goat and cows milk and they all feel they have a great meal. They also enjoy my sending them soap to either cure their acne or just make them smell wonderful.
I hope this helps you to know me and my passions just a bit better. I love being an American farmer and I also love sharing my knowledge with everyone I meet. Just this past week I have been in Phoenix AZ where I have shared my love for Nubian Dairy goats, the positive benefits of eating Nebraska fed beef, and my love for creating hand made goats milk soap. Just about everyone I met came way from our brief conversation with more understanding of why I love what I do and how it benefits them. My biggest share is that if what I do is not good enough for my family to eat or use I don't do it because I won't have a 6th generation of family farmers if I don't preserve the lifestyle I grew up in.
Until we meet again. Eat your local meat from the store, enjoy your dairy products, and look for a great handmade soap that will benefit your entire family. I have enjoyed sharing a slice into my life and look forward to us meeting on Common Ground.
Proud to be an American Farmer