This week is a special edition of Meet Your Farmer in celebration of Mother’s Day. Kim Keller, Farm At Hand co-founder, who is also a third generation farmer, shares some stories about her mom, Deb Keller.
What’s your name? Kim Keller aka Farm At Hand co-founder aka R&D Keller Farms apprentice.
I have been a farmer since: Since I was born – gap year between 1984 and 2011 with some sprinklings of bin sweeping, root picking, bale picking and combine co-piloting before coming back.
I’ve been a Farm At Hand user since: Before it was launched – I co-founded it. I do everything on my phone why couldn’t I have my farm records at my fingertips? 😉
Where do you farm? Gronlid, SK
What do you grow? same as R&D Keller Farms.
Deb Keller’s ‘other’ farm.
How did you get into farming?
My parents. They get full credit for that. It’s always been in my blood, I just didn’t realize it; I took the very long way around back to the farm.
Growing up, I couldn’t wait to get off the farm and get to the city. Go to University, meet new people, and see the bigger and better world that I thought existed outside our farmyard and small town. Over the last decade or so, I went through University, met new people, and started my climb on the corporate ladder, so to speak. As much as I thought I was on the right path, sometimes something just didn’t quite fit. It turns out; the right path was leading me right back to the same farmyard I couldn’t wait to leave 10 years prior. So, thank you mom and dad for letting me come back!
What do you love about farming?
I love farming; the work, the long hours, seeing results, and knowing I am working toward something more than just a pay cheque every 2 weeks. I get to work with my family doing something I love. What more could a girl ask for?
Tell us a little bit about why you become a farmer and who you farm with.
I farm with my mom, dad and brother. We read about my dad last week, and this week in celebration of Mother’s Day, I would like to give a great big shout out to my mom, Deb Keller. I could have asked her to do this interview herself, but I thought I would show my/our appreciation for everything she does!
Seeing how hard my mom works and the fact that she can do everything that my dad and my brother can, made me want to do it, too!
What’s one of your favourite moments when you with your mom when you’re out in the fields?
During harvest, when she’s on the combine and I’m on the cart. It’s getting late and we are all getting tired. She and I just joke back and forth and tease everyone else over the radio. I don’t think anyone else enjoys it all that much, but we sure have a good time!
Driving the combine like the boss she is!
Has technology changed your mom’s role on the farm?
My mom is a farmer.
She’s a cook.
She’s a bookkeeper.
She’s a cleaner.
She’s our therapist.
She’s our metereologist.
She’s our CNN news correspondent.
She’s sometimes our banker 😉
She’s always our mom.
She is involved in every single part of our farming operation.
She, by far, has the hardest job out of all of us on the farm.
Anything that can save her time is valuable.
She’s got a million other things on her plate, chasing farm data should not be one of them. She’s the one that has to file everything for crop insurance, bank loans, taxes, agri stability etc. So getting information when she needed it was one of her major pain points. Now she does not have to chase my dad or my brother around for information anymore. Me? I’m always on top of things – she’s got it before she’s even asked! Right, Mom?
What’s the one thing you would like everyone to know about your mom and other farm mom’s/wives?
Her work never ends! She’s in the field and yet she also has to do yardwork, chores, housework and a 1000 other things at the end of the day. Just take her FitBit results as proof – she kicks everyone’s ass at 25,000-30,000 steps a day! She rarely gets the credit or recognition she deserves for the work that she does (sorry mom).
We all complain because we have had a long day out in the field, but then as soon as we get home we can rest or go to bed. My mom gets in from the field and she has a big pile of other things to do before she goes to bed: cook, clean the house, set up and prepare for tomorrow, getting her steps in etc.
What’s the one thing that you want your mom to know but don’t get to tell her as often as you should?
I want to tell her: Thank you.
She is a big reason of why I do what I do today. When I phoned her and told her that I wanted to return to the farm and I was not sure if I was cut out for it, she told me that if I wanted to do it, I could, but be ready for some hard work. As crazy as she thought the idea of Farm At Hand was at the time, she still supported me. Still, today, she supports me no matter what. She’s always been in my corner.
I think every farm kid can give that exact same credit to his or her mom.
Now all you farm kids, go hug your mom and tell her thank you! No phone calls or texts, drive over there! (And share pictures!)