CommonGround is a national movement of farm women who want to share information about farming and the food they grow. Consumers in the cities and suburbs are more disconnected from farm life than ever before, and that disconnect has led to misconceptions about modern farming and the people behind it. We’re a group of Colorado farm women working to help dispel myths and build trust in farming communities and farm families again. We want to answer questions and share facts as well as our personal stories of farm life. Please join us in finding our CommonGround.
Cindy is no stranger to farming and a busy life. She grew up on a soybean and corn farm in northeast Kansas, where her dad continues to farm their century farm (a farm run by the same family for 100 years or longer) today. Cindy now ranches alongside her husband, Joe, as office manager of their cow/calf operation in Elbert County, Colorado. They raise Red Angus cattle in addition to managing a Black Angus herd for another family from Kansas. Cindy’s role as ranch manager includes a large amount of record keeping, which is vital for their Red Angus test herd for the Red Angus Association of America. She often works right alongside Joe to check cattle, water and fencing in addition to personally managing the lawn, yard and garden.
Cindy’s favorite topic is always her three children, Ryan (with wife Lindsay), Kelsey (with husband Ronny) and Emily, who each work or study in different areas of agriculture. As for her personal time, she seeks activities that demand creativity. For several years, Cindy worked as a floral designer at a local flower shop. She loves to play the piano and therefore teaches piano lessons twice a week at the local high school and is an accompanist for various groups in the community. In her spare time, Cindy does crafts, sews and gardens and is a member of a book club, a music club and seven agricultural organizations.
Cindy enthusiastically joined the CommonGround™ Colorado program in the fall of 2011 and considers it a privilege to be a volunteer and to share with anyone who has never lived or worked on a farm the truth about food and today’s farming.
Danell works full time as the office manager and safety director on their fourth generation family farm in Bennett, Colorado. Danell and her husband, Kent, work alongside Kent’s dad, uncle and two cousins to raise wheat, millet, sunflowers, corn and 300 head of cattle. This makes her a very busy woman, keeping up with things like taxes, payroll, data entry for fuel and crop and harvest logs as well as scheduling safety meetings. Danell and Kent have two children, Tabor and Asia.
Danell’s commitment to her family is demonstrated on and off the farm by her participation in the Parent Teacher Organization at Asia’s elementary school as well as the Boosters Club at Tabor’s school. She spends her free time with family and engages in activities such as four-wheeling, snowmobiling, waterskiing and mountain biking. It’s easy to see that Danell is hard-working, family-focused and energetic.
Jennifer and her husband, Dennis, own and operate a 2,000 cow family dairy farm in eastern Colorado. They also grow corn and alfalfa hay on about 2,000 acres of land. Their dairy employs 36 people that care for the cows and keep the operation running smoothly 24 hours every day. Two days of each week, Jennifer helps her husband and the dairy’s general manger evaluate every milking cow for body condition and health wellness. When she is not outdoors with the animals, she is managing the bookkeeping in the farm office.
Through the CommonGround program, Jennifer hopes to share with other moms her passion for the animals and feeding the world. The Koolstra’s passion comes from caring for their animals. Treating animals with respect and compassion is part of their every day dairy farming heritage.
When they are not managing their dairy, Jennifer and her husband enjoy being parents to their three children, being a part of their community, and serving their church. Jennifer also enjoys running, hiking and baking for her family.