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Lifetime learner returns to uncomfortable campus chairs

Meet Ben Tirrell, whose family has owned the same farm for more than 100 years. They raise sheep and beef cattle, plus corn, soybeans and wheat. He shares about a variety of topics including raising daughters on the farm, ways farmers are opening farm gates to conversations, a taxing farm sport, our shared future and one way he’s living by the best advice he’s been given.

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Abracadabra, it’s Christmas tree season!

Meet Tony Stefani, husband and father of four, who works with his dad to grow cut-your-own Michigan Christmas trees. He and Carla visit about a special kid quest, unique scents of the Christmas trees he grows, a distant cousin with a very different job and a meal he could eat every day.

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Fan of bacon (and turkey bacon) magazine cover model

Meet Zack Snider, a young farmer who raises pigs, turkeys, corn and soybeans with his family in West Michigan. He talks with us about things he’s most thankful for, family holiday traditions, people he might invite to dinner if given the chance and things that may surprise you about his turkeys.

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Responsible for managing friction and being best friends with bankers

Meet Brian Pridgeon, a seventh generation pig, corn, soybeans and wheat farmer. He shares lots of laughs with Carla about topics including songs he’s playing on the piano lately, jobs he’d rather not do and ones he enjoys, something he wishes Michigan had more of and a life-changing experience post-Thanksgiving three years ago.

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A rebound boot fitness instructor seeking sunshine-filled days

Meet Allyson Maxwell. She is a corn, sugarbeet, soybean, wheat and seasonal pumpkin farmer raising two boys and a farmdog. Whew! She makes a minute to chat about food decisions she makes at the store among overwhelming food labels, what she enjoys doing outside of working and things she’s looking forward in the future.

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A high-knee, bucket carrying, “GO”al-setting woman raising honest kids

Meet Carla Schultz, a livestock and crop farmer working alongside her husband, four kids and her parents in Michigan’s “thumb” region. Carla and Carla have a fast-paced discussion about the best places to travel in Michigan, coaching kids’ soccer, business goals for the upcoming year, what farmers do for fun and really GREAT life advice.

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Putting out figurative fires, flying by the seat of coverall pants and dreaming of organizing life

Meet Kristi Keilen, a fourth-generation dairy farmer, who milks 450 cows three times a day and raises crops like corn, soybeans and wheat, with her husband and their three-year-old son. Kristi and Carla have a fast-paced conversation about balancing technology and comfort, meal prep, Sunday traditions, working with a three-year-old on the farm and travel destinations in and outside of Michigan.

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A newlywed who’s really grateful for a GREAT family and days she doesn’t drive the skidsteer

Meet Amanda Carey Goodfellow, a farmer who works alongside her dad and grandfather on about 1,000 acres and who milks 180 cows using robot milking machines. She takes a break in the field with us and talks about her farm wedding and remodeling projects, how she convinced her dad she was dedicated to running their family’s business, salesman mistakes, being involved in her community and what it’s like to take care of her animals and land.

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Planting foods and flags for strong communities

Meet Julie Darnton, an MSU Extension educator who works in community food systems, helping people recognize the value of buying local products. Julie works with farmers markets, institutions and the public. She tempts your tastebuds and tantalizes your inner-travel bug in this interview.

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Extroverted introvert who just wants to watch her own channel

Meet Katie Eisenberger, a teacher and budding farmer who was raised on a dairy farm who’s now helping students and her own family discover the wide world of agricultural careers. She talks about the things she’s most thankful for; being a runner, teacher, mom, wife, daughter, sister and farmer; and remodeling a barn into a modern-day home for her family.

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A technical-millennial veterinarian getting the job done

Meet Dr. Marissa Hake, a veterinarian who drives 4-6,000 miles each month to work with farmers and their animals, specifically veal calves, throughout a three-state region. She and her husband also farm just a few miles outside of Michigan. Her “tails” include sharing about fitness and financial goals, the books and music she listens to on the road, an image of her dream day and farmgirl fashion.

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Helping optimistic gamblers across the country

Meet Matt Schaller, leader for Ag Community Relief, an association helping communities struggling through natural disasters. Listen in as he talks with us about current efforts being put together for rebuilding after Hurricane Florence, the way farmers care for people, animals and businesses across our nation and wildfire leadership spreading through communities in times of need.

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Making time to wave to pets before bedtime

Meet Andrea Jorgensen, an artist who embraced farmlife when she met her husband. Andrea talks about a variety of topics including the method she uses to paint farm animals and how she got her start, traveling, being a parent and keeping things in perspective.

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Going the distance and the addiction of doing better

Meet Ashley Messing-Kennedy, a dairy farmer who is raising her family on the farm where she grew up, and using new technologies to do so! Ashley talks about a variety of topics including farming with family, strong-willed children, running, animal nutrition, making time for everything and being in business providing food for families.

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Goddess of grain looking for boogiemen

Meet Angie Setzer, who is responsible for buying and selling grain (corn, soybeans and wheat) from farmers. Angie talks about a variety of topics including family farms, what’s involved in buying and selling a farmer’s product, working an office job out of the office and being a mother and step-grandmother.

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Fighting off deer flies and kid wrestlers

Meet Jed Welder, a diversified Michigan farmer who grows corn, soybeans, wheat and oats. Jed talks about a variety of topics including transitioning from a career in the military to farming fulltime, raising kids on a farm, building relationships with people and being efficient in business.

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A Forrest Gump-style listing of ways one farmer likes her potatoes

Meet Rita Herford, a diversified Michigan farmer who grows soybeans, edible dry beans, wheat, corn & sugarbeets, with her family. Rita talks about a variety of topics including motherhood, work-life balance, marriage compromise and being recognized by The White House for leadership in our shared community.

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