News | May 20, 2017
From Generation to Generation on the Farm
Have you ever tried to explain your job to your kids? Depending on what you do for a living, it can be a pretty interesting exercise. After all, it’s not so simple describing the day-to-day tasks of an accountant, data scientist, marketing manager or variety of other professions when explaining it to a kid.
But for one type of job, it can be a lot easier for a child to understand what his or her parents do for a living: farming. That’s because, for many, farming is a multi-generational affair. Children are often working and learning alongside parents and grandparents, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins. How cool is that?
We chatted with one multi-generational farm family to learn about their experiences working together. Meet Shelly and her 14-year-old daughter Kyndall. Shelly is a third-generation grass seed farmer in Oregon, and her daughter works on the farm when school isn’t in session. Here is an excerpt of our conversation with them:
Shelly: Through trials, tough times and good times, we’ve all learned how to communicate effectively with each other. I left the farm after college for a year and didn’t like it. I needed to be back on the farm and with my family. I encourage any family business or farm – as the next generation wants to come back and work – find the best location for them that fits their skillsets. Also, it’s pretty cool to watch Kyndall working with my dad. They have this mutual understanding and a close relationship. My dad is in his late-50s, and is having regular communication with his 14-year-old granddaughter about the business. Their relationship is very special.
Shelly: I’ve learned that I can step back and let Kyndall do her job… I don’t have to step in. For example, I let her crew chief and boss contact her about start times and end times. It’s important to let go and let her spread her wings.