My job didn't come with a description, and I never really expected to need one. But when I was asked to write a short bio for myself recently, I was sent into panic mode. What do I do? How do you put into words what a farm wife and stay-at-home Mom does?
This is what I came up with:
Jennifer Campbell serves in a management position at Campbell Grain & Livestock. Some days she is at the top of the corporate ladder making high-powered decisions about which child's turn it is feed the calves and what she is fixing for supper. Most days, however, are spent barely hanging on to the bottom rung with one hand while multi-tasking with the other. She is on call 24/7 for parts, rides, hog duty, cattle duty, running equipment, meal preparation and just about any other issue that arises.
She willingly admits that her house is never clean and jumps at any opportunity to help on the farm, which includes not only driving equipment but also pressure washing hog barns, all in the name of getting out of housework. Her dream is to have a home she can pressure wash to keep clean. She also spends an inordinate amount of time on social media sharing the ins and outs of life on the farm.
Jennifer has four children: Chris 47, Chris and Jennifer have three children: Casey, 18, soon-to-be freshman at Iowa State University, Emi Lou,15, soon-to-be freshman in high school, and Cole, 11-going-on-67, entering 6th grade. She lives under the illusion she is the parent and raising them but in all reality she knows she has limited control, is in charge of nothing, and kind of prefers it that way.
Jennifer often refers to herself as a firefighter and can often be found running around like a chicken with its head cut off, putting out others' fires while hers burn out of control.
She has no formal education as none exists for her current position.
Being farm mom and farmer's wife is a tough job. I spent a few days last week in Iowa for a meeting, and I wondered what people did before cell phones – my job required me to help with scholarship applications and 4-H paperwork, arrange orthodontist appointments, arrange a vet call for a calf, schedule hog vaccinations and help pick out shoes for the queen contest, all while three states away and in a meeting.
The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.