From our farms to your table, all food has a story.

Illinois Farm Families Blog

Feb 15 2012

What I have learned from the farm

First and foremost, I am a northsider.  I was born and bred to be a Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls fan.  I was born in Evanston and raised in Des Plaines.  I love deep-dish pizza with a sausage patty from Gino’s East, although I would never turn down Lou’s, either!  My farmer husband, John, grew up on the farm where we live and raise our three children, Bella, Mae, and Nolan.  We currently own and operate a 9,600 head pig facility, and raise corn and soybeans.  Through watching my husband work, reading farming magazines, and attempting to “help”, I have learned many things.  Here are a few of the things that I have taken to heart:

 Farmers have patience:  When you plant your seeds, they don’t grow by first thing the next morning.  Weather, sunshine, and mostly God’s grace are all required for the little shoots to pop up from the ground.  Here’s one of my favorite situations for patience.  As a city girl, I know that riding behind a steering wheel in a vehicle for 8 hours means that I should be at least out of the city to Joliet on the Stevenson in rush hour traffic, right?  Well, for a farmer, you may only be half done with plowing one field in that amount of time. 

Animals do not give birth during banker’s hours:  Anyone who raises animals can tell you that they never give birth at 10 a.m. on a sunny day.  It’s Murphy’s Law.  Our pigs always tended to wait until 2 or 3 in the morning on a rainy or snowy day. 

Farmers have a lot of compassion:  I have never seen anything so tender as my husband rubbing a sow’s (mommy pig’s) back while she was in labor, or when he is called to be a pig OB/GYN and help deliver piglets that have gotten stuck in the birth canal.  (Maybe that’s why he was so grateful that we had c-sections for all our kiddos.)  I have watched him leap three gates at a time to free a pig that had gotten her leg stuck in a gate.

Farmers have pride in what they do:  Seeing a farmer out in his field inspecting his crops, or looking out over his barn lot, you see a sense of pride.  The reason we work 24 hours a day at certain times of the year is because we are committed to making sure that we take the best care of our animals and our crops.

Farmers care about where their food comes from and where it goes:  My husband and I are very concerned about the foods that we give our children.  We want to be sure that they are safe and healthy.  We have pride in the fact that the food we make on our farm is both safe and healthy for our own children, as well as yours.

Kate Hagenbuch
Hagenbuch Farms
Utica, IL


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