Farming is not an easy profession. It takes much time, effort, and money. Work can often be taxing and strenuous with the farmer spending hours a day on the farm. Results will not come automatically, but the hard work pays off in the long run. Even if farming does not produce much money, it is something you can pour your heart into. This was the case for my grandparents Lee and Jane Kutz.
In November of 1968, Lee and Jane bought a property near Wentworth, Missouri. The original owners were Lee’s grandparents, but they were growing older and could no longer keep up with the all of the work that a farm required. So Lee and Jane began living their lives as farmers.
The original property that my grandparents purchased included about eighty acres of land. One acre is equal to approximately one thousand king-sized beds or four Olympic swimming pools. That is a lot of land! What do they do with all of that land? The majority of it is used for the cattle who stay in one pasture until they eat most of this grass in that place. Then, they are moved to a new pasture. A few of the fields are reserved for growing hay. My grandparents let the hay grow for most of the year, so that when it is fully grown, they can cut it down and roll it into hay bales. They use the hay bales to feed the cows in the middle of winter when all of the grass dies.
Other animals that they used to raise were pigs and chickens. The pigs were kept in a pigpen, and the few chickens they had were kept in a small chicken house.
Raising all of these animals requires a lot of food, and buying that food costs a lot of money. It cost so much money that they could not stay in business solely on the profit from the farm. Because of this, Lee started an accounting business in Joplin and Jane began working as a high school science teacher at Sarcoxie High School.
As you can imagine, their lives were very busy, juggling three different jobs between the two of them. It couldn’t get much busier than that, right? Wrong. Together they raised 5 children in addition to farming, running an accounting business, and teaching at a high school. How they managed all those years is amazing. My grandma told me, “It wasn’t easy. Sometimes keeping up with everything seemed impossible. We had to continually remind ourselves to focus on the good things in life, and that if we worked hard, no matter how difficult life got, it would all be worth it in the end.”
Today, my grandparents are still hard at work on their farm. They’ve expanded their land to almost two hundred and fifty acres. Although Jane retired from teaching about three years ago, Lee is still running his accounting business from Monday to Thursday. Every Friday they go fishing together and enjoy the life they’ve made for themselves.
Farming has become more than just a job for my grandparents. It is an essential part of their lives, just as it has with many other farmers. To be devoted to a job that requires so much work, one must truly love what they are doing.