Farmer Stories Series with CommonGround – Lauren Biegler

We are pleased to bring you a four part series titled - Farmer Stories - to highlight the women farmer volunteers working with our partners at CommonGround. These women farmers help CommonGround on their mission to create conversations around food and farming.

As moms, we are in charge of a lot of the decision making when it comes to feeding our family. The conversations and research around food can be overwhelming and intimidating. While keeping the schedule of a busy mom it is difficult to find the time to source reliable information that doesn’t leave us feeling judged or misled.

CommonGround was established for this very purpose – to provide positive opportunities for open dialogue about how food is grown and raised on farms in Minnesota and across the United States. We are women in agriculture from across Minnesota who volunteer our time to share information about food and farming. We share our personal experiences, as well as science and research, to help you sort through the myths and misinformation surrounding food and farming. Our goal is to be a resource for your food and farming questions!

To follow along with CommonGround’s mission to share information about food and farming, we are happy to highlight the women farmers who make up the CommonGround volunteer team in a four part Farmers Stories Series.

Today, we are highlighting Lauren Biegler. Lauren is a long-time volunteer of CommonGround as well as an active member of the National Corn Growers Association, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance and 4-H.

 

Hello! My name is Lauren Biegler. Our family lives near Lake Wilson, Minnesota, on my husband’s family farm. His name is Bryan, and we have three children – Alaina, Aubrey, and Wesley. We also have the resident farm dog, Bernie, and the kids adore our cat, Leona, and the many outdoor kitties!

How long have you been involved in agriculture and farming?

I grew up on my family farm in Iowa. I worked in the agriculture industry before meeting Bryan and moving to this farm, so we both have been around farming and agriculture our entire lives. We grow corn and soybeans and some occasional small grains on this farm. Both Bryan and my family farms have been in our families for over 140 years.

What is something you would like to share with those outside the agriculture and farming community?

One thing I always want to express to consumers and those outside of the agriculture industry is how much we really have in common. This is a unique job, but the challenges and rewards of most professions differ widely and are often misunderstood by others too. We are trying to raise a family by doing something we love. We still have to go grocery shopping and run kids to sporting events and other activities. We like to be involved in our communities, find time to spend together or take a vacation, and do countless other things like any other family! How that looks can be a little different than families living in a more urban area. Still, our family is more like any other family than different.

How has farming and agriculture played a role in your children’s’ lives?

I appreciate our kids being raised on a farm. They help where they can and care about the farming activities that happen year round. I don’t know what the future holds for them – and our farm – but I am happy they will have this knowledge of agriculture to carry with them throughout their entire life. If they never farm or work in agriculture that is just fine by me, but I am glad that their upbringing will go with – wherever life takes them! I hope they will always use their experience to inform people about agriculture and farming and know where food comes from – and feel great about the people behind the food system in our country. That they know farmers just like us are the ones raising food and they feel confident about the safety of that food.

woman farmer and her three children walking along their crops. Farmer Stories
What goes on around the farm in the spring compared to other seasons?

Every season on the farm brings unique activities. Spring, of course, is planting. As a general rule, if we could be planting by the middle or end of April, that would be ideal. We would like to finish planting by the end of May if the weather allows us to get it all in the ground. Summer brings a whole host of different activities for everyone. Rock picking, spraying, and picking our sweet corn (yum!). Fall is the other big season on the farm with harvest. All hands on deck there. Winter – while seemingly the slowest of the seasons – is actually one of the most important. It’s where we invest the time evaluating what went right or wrong from this past year and planning for the next growing year. Making all our decisions about seed, fertilizer, chemicals. It’s truly the time of year that is completely under our control. We can plan and execute to the best of our abilities, but mother nature will always have the final say when it’s all said and done. All we can do it is give it our best shot! Throughout all these seasons, I still have to be wife and mom to my family – no matter what is going on or how it’s going.

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