Jenny Dewey is a country girl at heart. Born and raised in Northern California and growing up in her parent’s butcher shop and deli, agriculture has always been a part of her life. She recently followed her heart to North Dakota where she is now engaged to a sunflower farmer and works at his ag supply business. Besides spending time with her farmer, Jenny loves to take photos with her DSLR, the challenges of bringing culture to the prairie through a variety of culinary creations, and using her interior design degree to flip their bachelor pad into a home.
Last year I wrote about how I was Ag Proud to be part of my parent’s local butcher shop and deli and in fact, I still am. That will never change, the passion I have for the meat industry is in my blood. But this year I have a whole new reason to be Ag Proud. Joining social media not only brought me into a whole new world of making friends in agriculture across the U.S. as well as the ability to connect with people who wanted to know more about agriculture, but it also allowed me to come in contact with a sunflower farmer from North Dakota. Some of you may remember him from last year…? Eventually I fell in love with this farmer, left my family’s business and my home in Northern California to follow my dreams to the rural prairies of North Dakota…. Ashley, North Dakota to be exact: the land of sunflowers, soybeans, corn, and wheat and where tractors, combines, and pickup trucks reign supreme.
Moving to North Dakota has given me a whole new perspective on agriculture. I was able to witness the day to day life of a farmer, what goes into planting those seeds, and maintaining them. I survived my first harvest here, spending a few hours in the combine (harvester) with my farmer, asking endless amounts of questions. Before moving out here, I knew nothing about row crop farming. The only combine I had ever seen was off of Interstate 5 in California cutting rice. I had no idea that North Dakota was such a mecca for agriculture. North Dakota’s number one economy is agriculture and they lead the nation in many crops such as: barley, sunflowers, edible beans, flaxseed, & honey.
It took me moving halfway across the country to realize how important the role agriculture plays in the economies of these states, to the local communities, and in the daily lives of farmers and ranchers across the nation. And when I stand up at the altar this fall and become Mrs. Sunflower Farmer, I will have a whole new set of things to be AgProud of: I will become part of a family farm on the rural prairies of North Dakota. I will become resident of a state that lives and breathes agriculture in its small rural communities. My farmer and I will be able to raise a family here and teach our children the value of hard work and the fact that sometimes farming is tough. And that in those moments it’s important to keep faith, hold your head up, and remember that the sun will rise again tomorrow. But the best part is that I will get to stand next to my husband in the field, on the land that his family has worked for nearly seven decades, and look out on the crops we grew, together, and know that it was by our own hands that the life we live is possible.
If you’d like to follow along as I learn about farming on the prairies of North Dakota, check out my blog http://jldphotographblog.com