Melissa and Murray’s story is a pretty incredible example of how many young farmers are finding their way back to the farm, come hell or high water, or sometimes both. 😉
We’ve been in touch with Melissa for a couple years now, hearing about their progress ever since she shared her testimonial with us and how she and Murray were inspired after watching The FarmOn Manifesto to find a way to take over Murray’s parents’ farm. It was the farm Murray’s great-grandfather homesteaded back in 1910, and that old red barn where the horses were fed over a century ago, still stands strong. Walking through that barn I could see various family members’ initials carved into the rough wooden beams. And now, since Melissa and Murray moved onto the farm just a few months ago, their son Colten calls this place home and he’s the 5th generation in the family to walk into the loft of that big barn and maybe one day add his own initials.
Keeping up with Colten (doesn’t that sound like a great title for a reality TV series?), wasn’t easy. He’s full of energy, and just like most 4 year olds, he’s just as full of questions. So I had a lot of fun with him as we went outside to feed the cattle and bust up the frozen water bowls.
Before I left, we all piled into Murray and Melissa’s truck and drove through the snow drifts out to their neighbours’ house, where we sat and visited with 80 year old Rod and his wife Carole, both of them real characters. Gathered around the wood burning stove in the kitchen of their little Eaton’s catalogue home, Rod handed everyone a Coke and within seconds we were all laughing hysterically, listening to Carole talk about the early days of farming with no electricity and no plumbing in the house. Rod and Carole still have a herd of about 80 head of cattle, and I’d say they’re living proof that farm life keeps a person young at heart.
One of my favourite lines from the interview we filmed with Murray and Melissa, was when they started thinking about the words of wisdom and advice that they’d want to pass along to other young farmers. Murray is no doubt extremely happy to be back home on the farm, carrying on another generation of farming in the family, but his answer was simple and probably one that many of you would relate to: “Don’t live with your parents at calving time!”
Here’s Murray and Melissa’s story, and if you like it make sure you also check out the rest of our #FarmVoices Stories playlist on YouTube.