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Mike and Sheilah Reskovac finally agree on the idea of more rest and family time.

Mike and Sheilah Reskovac, Bloggers

July 26, 2019

3 Min Read
A farmer sits in a harvested wheat field watching the sun set
CHILL OUT: Growing seasons have their ups and downs. Take some time to unwind and get a break from all the stress. PointImages/Getty Images

Mike: As all farmers know, no two growing seasons are the same. They do, however, have their ups and downs, failures and successes, and their learning moments.

Like most in the industry, the past couple years have been tough for us: More downs, more setbacks, more stress and more very strong words. I have always thought that I was good at handling stress and that I could juggle a bunch of things at once, all while being a positive person.

The past few years, though, I found myself being more discouraged and disappointed.

Sheilah: When we first got married, Mike had a little more help around the farm. He was better at the juggling part; the stress part, not so much (contrary to what he believes).

Before Son No. 1 was born, I warned him that our life was going to change and that he might not be able to get as much done in a day as he wanted.

I suggested cutting back a few acres and maybe cutting out some practices that weren’t necessary. My advice went unheeded, and the increasing gray hair on his head proved it.

Before Son No. 2 came I again gave the same speech: You don’t really have a lot of help anymore. You can’t do everything yourself. You’re not 25 and single anymore.

Finally, three years after my first request, things seemed a little different this year.

Mike: During my busy time, when things are running wide open, it has always been hard for me to step back and take a break. Some days I would hardly take a break to eat. “There isn’t time for that” was my attitude.

This spring, Sheilah told me that she didn’t care how early I left the house or how late I came home, on one condition: She wanted me to try to stop every day to take a supper break. The time could vary, and she would do her best to accommodate it.

Sheilah: I knew that some days it would work better for me to bring the boys and supper to the field.  Other days it was just easier for Mike to come in. I knew he wasn’t crazy about the idea, but I told him to give it try.

I didn’t really expect him to listen, let alone for the idea to work. At one point, I even asked him “What’s wrong with you? You’re not stressing like you normally are. Something must be wrong.”

Mike: I never knew how much more relaxed I could be during planting season. When I had a little bit of time to step back from the action and clear my mind from what wasn’t working or what needed to happen next, things seemed to go smoother.

The Rescovacs visit the zoo
FUN AT THE ZOO: The Reskovacs have found some time to get away this season, including a recent visit to the zoo.

Little things, like taking my boots off for a while, seemed to relax and rejuvenate me more for the evening. Taking time to eat with Sheilah and the boys, and even helping with bath time on a few occasions, seemed to put me in a better mindset, and I found myself not stressing out quite as much.

I also found it easier to work a little longer into the night with better focus.

Sheilah: I think I finally convinced Mike that it is OK to stop and take some family time, take a little rest and refocus. We shall see if this continues when harvest starts!

Mike and Sheilah Reskovac and their sons farm near Uniontown, Pa. Check out all of their "Two Hearts, One Harvest" blogs.

About the Author(s)

Mike and Sheilah Reskovac


Mike and Sheilah Reskovac are a young farming couple just starting their second year of marriage and farming together, near Uniontown, Pa. He's a first-gen farmer who met his fourth-gen farmer-bride online, and married in November 2012.

Mike grew up next to and working on his neighbor's Fayette County dairy farm through high school and college. After graduating from Penn State University in 2002 with a B.S. in Ag Systems Management, he worked as a manager at Tractor Supply stores for three years.

In 2005, he began farming his neighbor's land. Today, he and Sheilah farm 900 acres of corn and soybeans, plus do custom planting and harvesting.

Mike is president of the Pennsylvania Corn Growers Association. He also serves on the local Penn State Extension Board and is a Farm Service Agency county committee member.

Sheilah grew up on her family's Indiana County dairy farm. She graduated from DuBois Business College in 2008 with an associate's degree in Specialized Business and Medical Assistance, then worked for DuBois Regional Medical Center for four years. She also volunteered as a firefighter and EMT for the local fire company.

Since moving to Fayette County, Sheilah has been chief bookkeeper and farm assistant, along with taking classes at Penn State Fayette for Nursing. She enjoys “taking care of” groundhog problems, raking hay and mowing cornstalks.

While she enjoys cooking and baking, Mike enjoys eating the goods. Both enjoy hunting, attending concerts and county fairs, and spending time with family.

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