Burgess Hill Farms
Q: How long have you been a wheat farmer and who helps you on the farm now?
A: My husband Geoff and I are first-generation farmers, and we started the farm in 2008. I’m originally from Sterling, and I grew up on a hobby farm where we grew wheat and produced small square bales of hay, but Geoff is originally from the UK. He immigrated here in 2004. My son Dillon is 13, and my daughter Jessica is six, going on 16. They both help us on the farm.
“It’s all about family, and family is very important to us.”
Q: Why is farming your passion?
A: From day one, standing beside my dad in the combine, I enjoyed wheat harvest and being with my dad. There is a draw to it. It’s all about family, and family is very important to us.
Q: What are your hobbies and interests/what do you do in your spare time?
A: I do like to take photographs when I have time. I like going out and sharing our story through photos. I also enjoy my kids’ activities. It relaxes me to get off the farm and watch them be kids.
2020 on the farm
Q: We understand that this spring has been particularly difficult for many wheat farmers — describe to us how you navigate the unknowns of each new season.
A: We take it day by day. You can plan all you want, but with Mother Nature and new regulations, you have to be able to roll with it. It’s good to have plans, but we have to be prepared for plans to be undone very quickly.
Q: How would you describe a day in the middle of harvest? What’s it like for you and your family?
A: We wake up bright and early. Geoff goes out and cleans the combines and gets them ready for the day. Our employee, Kaylee, shows up to help. I’m getting the kids around, looking at schedules of where they need to be, and I am meal planning because I need to get in and get food made and get back out to the field in about 30 minutes because I’m driving the combine or grain cart or whatever needs to be done.
Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments? Farm life or otherwise.
A: Being able to keep farming. It has been a real struggle. I am proud of my son, who is getting the confidence to drive the grain cart and tractor. He is learning skills that will benefit him throughout his life. My daughter is the same, but she doesn’t drive yet.
Q: What or who inspires you every day?
A: My husband does. You don’t realize how much of an effort it is to move 4,000 miles from home, uproot your life, and start two businesses and a family in a new place. It takes a lot to start fresh and new.