Holly Spangler stands in front of her family's home in Illinois.

A FarmHer Balancing Writing and Farming in Illinois

Holly Spangler is a farm journalist living on a farm in Illinois. Driving up to her family farm was like a little piece of paradise, nestled amongst fields filled with crops. Holly grew up raising and showing cattle, and when she married her husband, John, they decided to come home to the family farm and work alongside his parents. Today, he manages much of the operation, while still working alongside his family.

Stories of Illinois Women in Agriculture

Holly is definitely a part of the farming operation, helping as needed with the raising and showing of cattle. In addition to her role on the farm, she took a different route to best utilize her talents within agriculture. Holly joined the Farm Progress company as an intern during college, transitioning to full-time after that, and has been there ever since. The job has afforded her the ability to use her love of writing and communications to tell the stories of the people she loves – Illinois FarmHers. Farmers are the reason she loves her job so much.  

Today, Holly is the editor of Prairie Farmer and executive editor of Farm Progress. She spends her days writing and editing stories from her desk overlooking the fields outside of her window. Holly balances that with traveling the state to tell the stories of farmers and FarmHers alike for the publication. She also coordinates events such as The Farm Progress Show, an opportunity for the best stories and photographs each year.   

A Day in the Life of a Farming Editor

Our day with Holly started right on the farm in her sun-filled office. The walls were lined with photographs of her family, the farm and of course, the journalism that has been such a major part of her life. We then headed out so Holly could interview a local farmer. 

Holly Spangler interviews a local farmer for her job with Prairie Farmer magazine.

We watched as Holly first interviewed then photographed Wes. It was clear that she has a deep understanding of growing conditions and farming methods as she asked how his crops were doing. On the way back to her house, we stopped off for a brief visit with Holly’s mother-in-law. They live close by, and that is one of the things Holly loves – her kids have grown up with the love of family just a field away.

Holly walks with her mother-in-law on the family farm in Illinois.

A Family Love

Our final stop was back at Holly and John’s place, just in time for the kids to arrive home from school. Then, it was straight out to the barn to work with their show cattle. Holly and John both showed cattle as kids and it holds a special place in their heart. They have passed that love down to their three kids, too. It was easy to see as we watched the family work together with the cattle that a love of agriculture runs deep in the Spangler family. From her fields of green to the power of her written word, Holly Spangler is a very special FarmHer.

Holly helps her kids with their show cattle in their barn in Illinois.

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