So many times I hear stories of farming and ranching as a way of life; a family tradition. In the case of Landi McFarland, I heard the story of a FarmHer family tradition. Landi is the fourth generation to operate Hoover Angus Farm, and the third generation of women FarmHers through which the farm has passed. Landi and her family are one of the few and very proud owners of a Heritage Farm in the state of Iowa, meaning they have had continual family ownership of the same farm for over 150 years. The Angus farm that was started by Landi’s great grandfather has been in operation for over 80 years. It has been passed down through the women in Landi’s family, which a little unique and completely, absolutely awesome!
From my first phone conversation with Landi it was clear she is a force to be reckoned with. She grew up on the farm, working alongside her parents and grandparents. Following college at Iowa State University she transitioned back to the farm and is now successfully managing the second largest registered black Angus farm in Iowa and one of the oldest herds in the nation. Landi, alongside her family, not only manages the herd of around 400 head of cattle, but also heads up the family’s purebred Angus sale each year.
Throughout the early spring morning that I visited Landi she conducted business on her phone. I was impressed as she seamlessly coordinated the purchase of a new bull at an auction that same day in a different state and moved steadily through the regular daily chores, even calmly dealing with a few sick babies. One of my favorite moments was watching Landi hold an injured calf as her dad changed the bandage on its foot. I saw the same love, appreciation, care and concern in her face as I have seen in every FarmHer's face over the past year when they are working with livestock. Whether four head or 400 head in their care, these women have a very distinct and visible admiration and concern for the animals they raise and nurture.
As we proceeded through her morning chores, we ran across a sick calf. Landi sailed through it with a calmness that was impressive to watch. A calmness that obviously comes from a lifetime of caring for cattle. Following chores and calf checks at three different locations and a wonderful lunch at the local café, I was one my way home…but I have no doubt that Landi’s day managing Hoover Angus had only just begun.
Be sure to tune in to Market to Market on Iowa Public Television on July 18 to see an interview with Landi, another FarmHer and many more FarmHer images!
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