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Janine Knop and husband Fred pose with their two grandchildren
TASTE-TESTERS: Janine Knop and husband Fred pose with their two grandchildren. “We love to bake with them,” says Janine, an award-wining baker and dessert maker.

A harvest of thoughts about farming

Western Iowa farm wife and champion baker, Janine Knop, shares why her family loves farm life.

I recently received a poem (it doesn’t have to rhyme to be thoughtful) about farming. The author is Janine Knop who farms with her husband, Fred, near Atlantic in western Iowa. Janine first posted her thoughts on the Facebook page, Who’s Your Iowa Farmer?

Based on the feedback she’s received, Janine says, “My husband and I are not the only persons in production agriculture who share our feelings regarding this lifestyle. Some may say farmers are crazy gamblers. I say we are trusted believers.”

Jeanine says, “In early November as we were harvesting, I was inspired to put pen to paper and record my thoughts on our family’s love of farming. I would like to share these reflections with others — and not only those who are interested in learning about how and why we production agriculturists “tick.”

The Thrill of the Dance by Janine Knop
It’s the story of who we are and always have been.

Toilers of the soil. Hearts and souls entwined with every kernel of grain that beckons, “Sow me. Take care of me. Harvest me. Help me bear fruit where I am planted.”

Row after row. Acre after acre. A heritage of dancing with the sun, soil and clouds has infiltrated my family’s pores.

Sometimes the dance is slow and romantic. Other times it is lightning-bolt quick and to the point.

We are not ensured of bounty but are at the mercy of our Great Partner in caring for the dance-floor-rich earth in order to produce optimum results.

Why have we chosen this lifestyle, you might ask?

Can anyone whose way of living is titled “production agriculturist” ever give a definite answer?

The pull of the land has its idiosyncrasies — infusing lifeblood into those who are drawn to its freedom.

Acres of opportunity — that’s what they are. No one enters this lifestyle saying, “I’m going to make millions!” or “I cannot do anything else, so I think I’ll be a farmer.”

No way! The soil demands brain, brawn, passion and absolute grit in order to manage its wily ways.

We are children of technology — gleaning on the horse-drawn past, yet enrobed in futuristic, inventive, computer-driven technology of today.

Our heritage coaxes us to vigilantly serve as compassionate stewards of the land instilled in our care.

For over a century, this lifestyle, the lifestyle that has been ingrained in my bloodline as well as my husband’s, has been fed by not only bits and pieces but legends of our forefathers’ wisdom.

The attraction to the thrill of this dance is way beyond that of a star-studded movie premier or an astronautical trip to the moon!

This dance with farming nurtures challenges. It breeds comfort. It creates peace. It multiplies entrepreneurial trust and hope. It encourages us to become better at who we are and what we do.

It’s a destination with life.

It was and always has been a partnership with God with Him taking the lead.

Background on farm family
The Knops are third-generation farmers who specialize in production of corn, soybeans, winter wheat, hay, and seed stock genetics for club lamb producers. Janine is owner of Miss NiNi’s Fine Desserts — a business she began in the licensed kitchen of her farm home. You can follow her baking adventures and weekly blog posts at, or on FB, Twitter and Instagram.

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