Moms. Where would we be with out them? Probably hungry, without clean clothes and in dire need of sage advice and life lessons.
But farm moms? They’re a special breed, with their own skills — sometimes bordering superpowers.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we thought we’d introduce you to one of our favorites, Peggy Greenway. You might remember her as the wife of Brad, the 2016 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year. But she’s also mom to Mandi and Brent and grandmother to three little ones, all of whom live close to the Greenway’s Mitchell, South Dakota, farm.
Real Pig Farming: You grew up in the big city, near St. Paul, Minnesota. Did you ever imagine you’d raise your children on a pig farm?
Peggy Greenway: No, I didn’t! I did have family members — my aunt and uncle — who raised pigs, and my dad always shared fond memories of farm life when he was in high school, so I had a tiny bit of farm knowledge, but would’ve never guessed I’d live on a pig farm, too, one day. I had no idea I would ever live in the country and be able to raise my kids differently than I grew up.
RPF: Do you think that upbringing helped shape who they are today, your daughter a successful physician and your son an engineer, who has now come back to the farm full time?
PG: Absolutely! I think their work ethic is a direct result of growing up on a pig farm. It was hard work, especially when they were little. And a lot of the work happened on the weekends, so they would help us. So, in addition to their schoolwork and sports and other extracurricular activities, they were working on the farm, too.
RPF: What do you think it takes to be a good farm mom? Any special skills or requirements?
PG: As a farm mom, a lot more of the parenting will fall on your shoulders than it would if your husband worked an office job. Farmers just have to work really long hours across the board. So it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking, “It sure would be nice for us to have a weekend off.” But, you know what? I feel like if you want to be happy in life you’ve got to appreciate the things you have, not the things you don’t. For example, we also had the flexibility to take off a little bit early to make one of the kids’ games or 4-H contests. And that’s a big benefit!
In addition to perspective, I think the time management is the most important skill a farm mom can have. There are just so many things to fit into the day, between kids and pigs and the farm office-type work.
RPF: Before I let you go… I must know: What’s your favorite pork meal?
PG: That’s a hard one! I mean, anything with bacon of course is going to be delicious, but really my favorite cut is the tenderloin. I love that it’s so easy to cook and so tender and you can season it a lot of different ways or try different sauces. It’s really versatile.
RPG: Thanks, Peggy! Happy Mother’s Day to you and all those #RealPigFarming moms out there!