MEET

Joni Bucher

cattle

Joni Bucher

Good Hope, IL

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I'm raising quiet, happy cows

Twice every day, I walk through our pastures among the cattle, seeing that they are calm and docile. If they're content, that means we're doing our job – being good caretakers. We breed carefully, to produce cattle with sound health and excellent growth potential. My philosophy is to care for the environment, and to do our bit to help feed the world. And of course, to raise quiet, happy cows.

I know what I want to be when I grow up

The 80 acres that my cattle call home is what I call my “happy place.” Some days, you're up before it's light out and you're still working after dark. You shut off the last light, and feel that overwhelming exhaustion settle in – and yet your heart is filled with peace – a happiness you've only known in one vocation, in one place: the farm. That's when you realize your dream has become a reality and that you are blessed. This life is a passion, a tradition passed on from generation to generation; it's my legacy to my children and grandchildren. Finally, I know what I want to be when I grow up … a cow mom.

Here's how I farm

Ours is a cow/calf operation; that's a permanent herd of mother cows that produce calves I sell after they have been weaned from their mothers. We have about 80 mother cows and ideally, each one has a calf every year. I sell bulls to other farms so they can raise their own cattle. And I raise calves for young people to buy as 4-H projects.

Sometimes dreams do come true

Agriculture was my first love. Through my father and grandfather, I've been involved in the cattle business ever since I can remember. As a kid, I spent more time in the barn than in the house. My children were always involved in 4-H cattle projects – there was always a calf or two in our lives. Then a health issue changed the course of my younger son Quintin's life, and I was looking for a new direction for us. Quintin and I began to form a bond and a passion for the cattle industry. We worked side by side in the barn and drove thousands of miles to cattle shows. We had a shared goal: a ranch and a herd. Sometimes dreams do come true – we established our farm, Bucher Cattle Company, in 2007.

About my family

Joni Bucher is a fourth-generation western Illinois farmer. She spent 20 years working in the pharmaceutical industry, and began farming part time in her 40s. She was close to age 50 when she started raising cattle full time. Joni's two sons, Brandon and Quintin, were both very active in showing cattle while growing up. Her youngest, Quintin, recently joined her in running the farm full time.

My Blog Posts

Corn and cattle – what’s the connection?