April 24, 2017
It's no secret that farms have many moving pieces and that many times women are at the center of those pieces, keeping them all in the air. Farms aren't just family operations, they are businesses that don't stop. At the heart of the Sutter Farm in Pleasantville, Iowa is one such woman, Leanne Sutter.
Leanne was raised in a farming family and grew up helping her dad as an active part of the farm. As a young woman, she worked with him to raise pigs. When she married her husband Kenny, she married into another farming family. Leanne had two sons who are both married with kids and they have both become full-time parts of the farm. All in all, Sutter Farms supports six families spread throughout four generations. That is a big task for any farm these days, and Leanne, at the heart of the farm, has a big role in making that a possibility.
See more of Leanne, from FarmHer on RFD-TV.
I met Leanne at her house where we jumped into her truck to head to the farm office. The office sits at the original farm, where one of her sons lives with his family. There Leanne walked me through many of her daily tasks such as paying bills, setting up appointments, keeping records and setting up trucking schedules, ordering seed and marketing all of the grain, working with USDA certifications for crop insurance and on certification for the portion of their farm that is certified organic. She explained that a neighbor started an organic dairy and in order to help him comply with buffer requirements, the family made the commitment to convert part of their farm to organic acres.
In the middle of her work, I heard little voices outside, getting louder until three happy little faces popped through the door yelling "HI MAMA," which put the biggest smile I've seen in awhile on Leanne's face. It was her daily visit from the grandkids who live at that farm. She loves working close to them and being an integral part of their lives as evidenced by the back seat of her pickup, filled with car seats.
We ventured out to another part of the farm where trucks were coming and going, with Leanne pointing out the cattle and one stray pig out in the pasture. From there we went to another part of the farm where her sons were harvesting corn and where one of the family's hog barns is located. Leanne gave us a tour of the barn, explaining that it is an integral part of keeping all families on the farm.
Next Leanne drove me to the Pleasantville FFA learning farm. She and her husband Kenny were integral in forming their local FFA alumni chapter, and in starting the learning farm so kids who live in town can still experience raising and caring for livestock. It has been an instrumental part of the FFA program, and an important part of connecting kids to animal agriculture.
My day with Leanne was spent with the heart of the Sutter farm. A lifelong FarmHer, wife, mother, grandmother and neighbor who is integral to the planning, operations and ongoing livelihood of not only her growing family operation but also to the learning farm in her community.
April 28, 2017
Nice article. Only should of included wonderful farmHer “Mother-in-law”…….ORNERY “Father-in-law”. Hahaha. Love the Sutter family.
April 27, 2017
Great article. Could not have picked a more genuine, hard working, successful, many generation, friendly, farming family. Great story about a great family!
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