Love for the land, our families, our friends and our food – that’s what fuels our CommonGround community. Scroll down to learn where our volunteers are located, or Contact Us to get involved.
CommonGround NebraskaBack to Our Farmers
Our Farm: corn, pigs, soybeans, wheat
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, precision-farming consultant
My Hobbies: baking, movies, overall fitness, photography, traveling
Ask Me About: animal welfare, antibiotics and animal health, farm ownership, food prices, food safety, GMO foods, sustainability
About Me: My journey through agriculture has been very interesting. Although I grew up with my mother and stepfather actively farming, I went a different route after the passing of my father in my first year of college and spent the next six years in the medical field. In 2013, I made the decision to go back to school to double-major in agronomy and agribusiness. My husband, Adam, son, Brantlee, and I then made the move back to my hometown to be closer to the farm and give our son the experience of growing up in a small town. Over the last two years, I’ve participated in the Nebraska LEAD Program, a leadership-development program. I also work off of the farm as a precision-farming consultant. I enjoy helping others prosper in the industry and loves sharing the positive message of agriculture.
Facebook: Ashley Babl
Our Farm: corn, soybeans
My Work: farmer, wife
Ask Me About: irrigating crops, GMOs
About Me: After growing up on a hog farm, life on a grain farm seems pretty simple. On our hog farm, chores were done 365 days a year, including holidays, birthdays and days of sporting events. Now our work is more seasonal and dependent on the weather. I am the support staff on the farm, but I especially enjoy harvest time, when I run the combine.
Our Farm: alfalfa, beef cattle, corn, sorghum, soybeans, wheat
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, corporate communications manager
My Hobbies: blogging, photography, running, reading
Ask Me About: animal care
About Me: I grew up on a farm, studied animal science in college, married a welder/rancher, raised children on the farm and now I work for a farm service owned by farmers. So for me, everything ties back to agriculture. We love our jobs as ranchers and farmers, and we strive to work more efficiently by embracing technology. We also like to incorporate family fun while working, by using all-terrain vehicles to herd cattle to different pastures or fields.
Facebook: Dawn Caldwell
Blog: Lady of Ag
Our Farm: Sheep
My Work: Woman in Agriculture, educator, wife
My Hobbies: Baking, Writing, Photography, Travel, Movies
Ask Me About: Animal Ag/Nutrition/Welfare, Animal Ag/Antibiotics, Hormones (in meat and milk), Food Safety, Family farms vs. Corporate Farms
About Me: I am the fourth generation to be on my family farm. My husband and I live in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where I grew up. My parents, my brother and his family, along with my husband and I work and make management decisions on our family farm. I am also the Extension Assistant for the Nebraska Women in Agriculture Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My day job allows me to communicate with women across the state about the events and courses the Nebraska Women in Agriculture program is offering. The program was designed to educate and provide resources for women who are involved in the agriculture industry and provide leadership, learning experiences, support, and networking. Farmers and ranchers have a wonderful story to tell, and I think it is important for farmers to bridge the gap between consumers and where their food comes from.
Facebook: Brittany Schaneman Fulton
Our Farm: alfalfa, beef cattle, corn, oats, sorghum, soybeans
My Work: farmer, wife, mom
My Hobbies: cooking, overall fitness, photography, reading, scuba diving and many water sports
Ask Me About: farm ownerships, GMOs, sustainability
About Me: I was born in a city, and at age 10 moved to the country on a small acreage. It was there I learned where food comes from – we raised much of our own food – even made our own soap and heated the home with the wood we chopped. Most folks today have a different relationship with their food. I want people to know we live, breathe and sleep agriculture – it is who we are, not what we do. Our love of Mother Earth is immense as we rely on her for everything we love. We are a family farm with 20 full -time employees and 10 or so seasonal employees who are all a part of our farm family, or as we call it, our “farmly” Big farms can be quite intimate and efficient. We have people who work along side us who have a passion for agriculture just like we do.
Blue Hill, Nebraska
Our Farm: alfalfa, beef cattle, corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, wheat
My Work: farmer, wife, mom
My Hobbies: cooking, writing, blogging, reading, boating, playing piano and organ, Husker football
Ask Me About: sustainability and conservation
About Me: I’m the sixth generation to make my home on the farm. Water and soil conservation is very important to us, and we use the latest technology to be more productive using fewer resources. As a mom, it’s important that I serve nutritious food to my family, and knowing how we raise our cattle and grow our crops gives me a tremendous amount of confidence. Through our stories, I hope consumers can see how thoughtfully and responsibly we care for our livestock and how we implement good conservation practices that benefit the soil and water.
Facebook: Real Farmwife on the County Line
Our Farm: beef cattle, corn, soybeans
My Work: farmer, wife, mom
My Hobbies: baking, cooking, fitness, running
Ask Me About: animal welfare, hormones in meat and milk
About Me: We are the third generation, and raising the fourth, to live and work on our family farm. It makes me proud to be a farmer and witness every day my family’s commitment to our animals and the land. I want to share the truth about agriculture because my entire family makes their living off the land. I have deep roots in agriculture, and I see how hard farmers and ranchers work to care for animals and the soil. I’m so proud of my family and want to share that pride with others.
Our Farm: alfalfa, corn, dairy cattle, soybeans
My Work: farmer
My Hobbies: baking, cooking, overall fitness, reading, traveling
Ask Me About: farm ownership, food safety, GMO foods, local and organic foods, sustainability
About Me: I grew up in agriculture and love seeing all the amazing people and things that are happening across farming communities. In addition to farming, I also work for the University of Nebraska Extension in Saunders County as a 4-H assistant.
Facebook: Melisa Konecky
Our Farm: beef cattle, chickens, ducks, sheep, rabbits
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, firefighter, EMT, farm broadcaster
My Hobbies: cooking, gardening, reading, taking pictures of livestock and kids on the farm
Ask Me About: wool production
About Me: Chore time is family time on our farm. We enjoy talking about each day’s happenings, along with what projects need to be worked on or finished. I love this lifestyle because every day is a different adventure, and it is very gratifying to know that what we are doing on our farm is helping so many different people.
Our Farm: beef cattle, corn, pigs, soybeans
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, agriculture instructor
My Hobbies: working with livestock, reading, camping, hiking, learning about international agriculture, education, leadership
Ask Me About: animal welfare, food safety and selection, transition planning for our farm
About Me: I farm with my husband and our parents as the sixth generation on our family farm. If I am not on the farm, I am doing something related to agriculture and love working with youth in programs such as 4-H and FFA. My favorite time of year is calving season, when I assist with birthing and then work with the calves. I enjoy teaching my children how to show cattle and ride horses, and I hope they share my passion for agriculture. Taking care of our animals is important, and my family has learned that they don’t eat until the animals have been fed.
Blog: Hilary Maricle
Our Farm: Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Alfalfa, Beef Cattle
My Work: Farmer, mom, grandma
My Hobbies: Baking, Cooking, Photography, Reading, Embroidery
Ask Me About: Animal Welfare, Antibiotics and Animal Health, Food Safety, Sustainability
About Me: You can find me and my family farming in Southeastern Nebraska, raising crops and livestock. On top of our crops and beef cattle, we foster lambs for our neighboring farmer. This has given me a great opportunity to share agriculture around our community. I enjoy taking these lambs to schools and events to show our community a piece of farm life. It’s important to me to be someone people feel they can ask anything about our farm, and they know I will be honest. If I don’t have the answer, I will find it. I love sharing our farm story with everyone!
Our Farm: beef cattle
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, grandma
My Hobbies: quilting, spending time with our family, reading
Ask Me About: corn production
About Me: We run a family farm in Harvard, Nebraska. Our girls have been raised with the understanding that we are a family farm, and it takes the whole family to make it operate.
Our Farm: beef cattle, corn, fruit, pigs, soybeans, vegetables
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, nurse
My Hobbies: arts and crafts, baking, cooking, movies, walking
Ask Me About: food prices, food safety
About Me: I am a lifelong farm girl, wife, mom and grandma who has had the wonderful opportunity to live on the farm all my life. As the youngest of 8 children, I grew up on a row-crop farm in Nebraska. Now, my husband and I live on the farm near Geneva, Nebraska, where we have been for 28-plus years. We raised our four beautiful children on our farm and are now enjoying sharing our farm and the many adventures of it with our six wonderful grandchildren. Outside of helping my husband on the farm, I am a registered nurse. I have worked in hospital, clinic, nursing home and school settings. I love to cook, garden and sew.
Our Farm: alfalfa, beef cattle, chicken, corn, pigs, soybeans
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, high school drama director, jewelry craftswoman
My Hobbies: arts and crafts, baking, camping, cooking, travel
Ask Me About: animal nutrition and welfare, GMO foods, sustainability
About Me: My husband and I both work at the local high school in addition to farming. Because of my interest in education, I hope that I can help people to identify facts versus fiction when it comes to information about their food.
Our Farm: beef cattle, chickens, corn, wheat
My Work: farmer, wife, mother, communications representative for Heartland Farm Partners
My Hobbies: arts and crafts, baking, bee keeping, cooking, overall fitness, running, writing
Ask Me About: family farms, sustainability and conservation
About Me: My husband Greg and I farm irrigated and dryland corn and wheat and also raise cattle in southwest Nebraska. Because Greg is a 5th generation farmer in our county, we are able to farm closely with Greg’s father and three brothers. Although we all have our own operations, we work side by side and help each other out whenever possible. Greg and I find farming to be more than just an occupation, it’s our way of life. We work every day to be good stewards of the land and improve sustainability and efficiency. We also hope to instill these values in our two children as they grow older. I hope to share the truth about agriculture because I believe in what we do. Farmers work tirelessly to protect the land and keep their products safe, and I’m eager to share my story.
Our Farm: alfalfa, beef cattle, corn, soybeans
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, 4-H leader, volunteer EMT
My Hobbies: landscaping, gardening, horseback riding, reading
Ask Me About: animal comfort and welfare, antibiotics, hormones in food, GMOs
About Me: My husband and I have worked side-by-side to build up our farm, our feedlot operation and, most importantly, our five children. Our farm has been in the Ruskamp family for 100 years. Our nest is empty, with our children spread out near and far. We continue to stay active in our community, as well as developing new ways to improve the quality of care for our land and animals.
Facebook: Joan Ruskamp
Blog: Dust In My Coffee
Our Farm: alfalfa, bees, corn, organic vegetables, soybeans, wheat, milo
My Work: farmer, wife, mom
My Hobbies: reading, cooking, entertaining guests, scrapbooking, crafts
Ask Me About: organic farming, corn production
About Me: My family and I are sixth-generation farmers in Gosper County, Nebraska. In 2010, we built two high-tunnel greenhouses and began growing organic vegetables, such as mixed lettuce, turnips, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs and potatoes. One guest even mentioned that it smells like an Italian kitchen when you first walk in! This operation complemented our small apiary, our crop farm and our commitment to growing other organic row and field crops.
Website: Schwarz Family Farm
Our Farm: alfalfa, beef cattle, corn, soybeans, wheat
My Work: farmer, wife, mom
My Hobbies: baking, cooking, gardening, photography, overall fitness
Ask Me About: animal welfare, antibiotics and animal health, farm ownership, food safety, hormones in meat and milk, sustainability
About Me: I grew up milking 500 cows three times a day on a dairy farm and feeding beef cattle. My family also raised crops. Today, my husband and I operate a 15,000 head of cattle feedlot. When I am not in the farm’s office, I’m caring for the cattle, serving as a farmhand, or driving the feed truck. We include our three kids as much as we possibly can. I believe it is super important to show consumers how family farms work and where our food comes from. I want to spread the word on the amazing world of agriculture and how we feed America.
Facebook: Sara M. Sindelar
Our Farm: Corn, Soybeans
My Work: Farmer, communicator, wife
My Hobbies: Cooking, Hiking, Walking the dogs, Fitness, Reading, Travel,
Ask Me About: Farm ownership, GMO foods, Sustainability
About Me: My husband, Seth Gebers, and I rotate growing corn and soybeans on our farm. All the corn that we raise goes to feed cattle. On our farm we implement practices such as cover crops to improve the soil and keep weeds out. I also work off the farm in the agricultural industry. I have many non-ag friends and family members who have questions about how their food is grown and raised. I want to help them, and others, feel comfortable with what they’re purchasing in the grocery store and not be afraid.
Facebook: Morgan Joyce