What started as a Valentine’s Day dilemma has turned into a flown-blown greeting card business called Hungry Canyon for FarmHer Melissa Nelson. Her side hustle is growing by the day and gives farmers the opportunity to say “I love you” in their own unique, agricultural way.
Melissa is a one-of-a-kind FarmHer whose greeting card-creating skills are just as special as she is. She balances a full-time career, side business, two busy boys and helps her supportive husband on the farm all while giving back to her community.
But let’s take it back to where Melissa’s Hungry Canyon greeting card journey began.
Rewind to years ago, Melissa was on the hunt for the perfect Valentine’s Day card for her red-tractor loving husband. But to her surprise all she could find was green tractors on the greeting cards. As a man who only goes for tractors of the red variety, Melissa knew she just couldn’t purchase a card that completely missed the mark of who her husband was.
Greeting Cards for Farmers
That’s where the idea of Hungry Canyon sparked.
The first card was a red combine with a punny saying and Hungry Canyon was born. Melissa would then post her brilliant card ideas on her personal Facebook and the order requests started pouring in. She put together a website and her online greeting card store journey launched.
At first, the business was simply Melissa and her husband, Mark, folding cards on the dining room table. That means they were printing, cutting and folding each and every card!! Later, they bought a farmstead with a big unfinished basement that now doubles as Hungry Canyon’s creator studio.
But that’s not the only necessary improvement to her business. She now prints at Impressions Print Shop in Sioux City making card production even quicker.
Incorporating the print shop was the biggest game changer for her business. They even purchased a folding machine BECAUSE of Melissa’s business.
Farm Safety for Children
But did we mention she has another side hustle?
Farm safety is so important to every farmer, but Melissa and Mark work with their boys which means extra precautions. She created a line of high visibility clothing for children called Wait For Me. But this line isn’t just for farm families. Melissa encourages all parents to purchase high visibility clothing for at the park, to wear while going on walks, etc.
All of the proceeds go to farm and ranch safety education courses to help educate farm parents. This topic hits very close to home for Melissa. Her community suffered a loss from a farming accident. For that reason, this project is very near and dear to her heart.
Teaching Agriculture to Others
Whether it’s farm safety, community connection or entrepreneurship, Melissa is setting a great example. When Melissa isn’t busy working for a cause or creating witty greeting cards, you can find her at Morning Side University advising future agricultural leaders.
Her title at her full-time position is Internship/Externship Coordinator for the college of agriculture. To no surprise, Melissa rocks this role too! She goes the extra mile for her students helping their goals come to fruition.
A FarmHer Making a Difference
Melissa is a busy bee but we are so glad she allowed us to take a step behind the scenes for a day in her exciting life. She changes lives everyday. Whether it’s a greeting card homegrown for every type of farmer or helping a student reach their career goals, her impact doesn’t go unnoticed.