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CCFB News» April 2018

I’m a Mother, Farmer and a Nurse and I Care about the Food I Grow

04/23/2018 @ 10:50 am | By Janet McCabe

As a child, I never imagined that I’d be responsible for raising high-quality, healthy food products that feed my family and yours.


I grew up in Mt. Prospect, a northwest suburb.  My sister and I didn't even mow the lawn, instead we played with other kids in the neighborhood and were active in the youth group at our church.  During college breaks, I first worked in an office and then as a certified nursing assistant before earning my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. 


I met my future husband during my freshman year of college.  His sister and I were on the same dorm floor and six-years later we were married.  On the weekends, I’d go back to Orland Park to his family farm.  Orland Park at that time was still fairly rural.  He’d let me ride in the tractor or combine with him, but he wasn’t quite ready to hand over the steering wheel.


After we were married, we started to farm together.  I started by going to pick-up parts before becoming more involved in management decisions and the day-to-day operations of the farm.  Both of us work full-time off the farm, my husband as a heavy machinery mechanic and I’m a critical care nurse, so dividing up the day-to-day tasks is essential.  I primarily handle our hay operation- raking, baling, delivering the bales, and making contacts for additional sales.  My husband, daughter, and son are involved in our family farm. 


In addition to growing hay, we raise corn, soybeans, and wheat.  Both my husband and I are involved in the management decisions.  Before making any decision, we carefully consider our soil, seed traits, and our markets.  We also review land grant university studies and new developments in farming to ensure that we are using the safest and best practice on our farm.  Before applying any crop protectants, we examine our crops for insects, weeds, and disease and only use crop protectants when needed.        


The crop protectants of today are extremely precise, effective, and leave virtually no residue.  They’re also extensively tested and proven safe by the Food and Drug Administration, US Department of Agriculture, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Before we can purchase or apply any chemical, we are educated, tested, and certified by the Department of Agriculture. 


I’m a mother, a farmer and a nurse and I’m confident that the food I grow is safe to eat for my family and yours. 

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