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Finally landowners -- our own farm!

This young couple moves up to the next chapter of their life together -- buying their first farm, new plans, anxiety over its debt load.

Mike: We're officially land owners! Last week, we closed on the farm I've wanted to buy for years. It's the highest yielding ground that we farm.

The night before, all I could do was toss and turn – excited, happy, a little scared. I couldn’t believe it was finally happening. We weren’t just talking about it anymore. Even after we signed the papers, it almost seemed surreal.

Sheilah: Mike was smiling from ear to ear. I was crying inside and out. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited. But I was feeling overwhelmed about going further in debt.

I told Mike I'd have to work night shift at the hospital so I could work dayshift at the cave. I was joking, of course. But for a few seconds, I could clearly see that scenario in my mind: Going from one job to the next looking like a zombie on autopilot coming home for an hour of sleep and doing it again – not sure when I was supposed to eat or shower.

I quickly came back to reality before I started to panic. I know everything will be okay, as a team, together, we'll make it work. This is a new chapter for us!

Mike: I'm on a buying freeze now. No major or unessential purchases, per the management [Sheila]!

I probably should follow these guidelines. I haven’t had to sleep on the couch – yet. But now that we have a barn, I might get told to sleep there.

Sheilah: Along with new land comes new ideas – a million and one of them! Building a house is number one on our list, along with barn and building repairs. We agree on those two things. We both definitely want animals – cows in particular.

Mike also wants pigs. I'd prefer sheep. But there are others that we have yet to settle on. Mike wants to build more grain bins and a workshop. I think that needs to be in the long-term plan though. Remember, he's agreed to a buying freeze. As I see it, it's part of our deal.

Mike: So many things we want to start doing. But now that spring's finally here, most of my time will be spent in a tractor either planting or spraying.

I can't wait to pull that planter across ground that we actually own!  I'm sure my mind will start to wander as I drive over the fields. I'll be imagining what the place will look like a year from now and in 10 years. We're living the American dream of every young farmer!

Mike Reskovac is president of Pennsylvania Corn Growers Association. The Reskovacs farm near Uniontown, Pa. Read all their "Two Hearts, One Harvest" columns in American Agriculturist.

This opinion is not necessarily that of FarmProgress.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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