Where did Johnk Family Farm start?
Hey! I'm Becky. I have been wanting to start this Blog for a very long time. But time is always an issue! I would like to share our background in farming and some about us!
I (Becky) grew up right here in Greene County, NY. I graduated from Greenville Central School in 2004. Animals have always been a part of my life. It runs in my blood. My family always had a lifestyle farm. We raised and butchered our own food. Grew our own vegetables and preserved them for year round. It has always been the way I lived.
I joined 4-H at the age of 5 years old as a clover bud and started my first rabbitry. My Passion for 4-H grew and I was in three different clubs, each focusing on different areas. In Middle school I also joined FFA. I kept expanding on project animals areas and got hooked on dairy cattle. The first dairy animal I purchased was an Aryshire to show at the local fairs. I named her “Annabelle”.
When it was time to sell her to a dairy farm I could not part with her. So I hand milked for a few months and my parents helped me set up to start milking with a surge belly milker. I loved it. Getting up to milk my girls everyday gave me so much purpose in life as I went through high school and commuted to college classes. As time went on, I kept keeping daughters and growing my herd. I enjoyed making cheeses & yogurts with my parents.
In 2012, Alex and I met through farmersonly.com. We hit is right off!
Alex grew up in Walnut, Iowa. He too grew up farming and lived for it. He was very active in 4-H and FFA. His focus was sheep & swine.
How did a Farmer from Iowa end up in New York you ask?
I’d say me, but it was an internship at Stone House Farm in Hudson, NY. That turned to a full time job offer after he graduated from Iowa State University.
(he stayed because of me)
We rented a farm in Livingston, NY and slowly started growing our farm. We started with some hogs, chickens, rabbits, dairy & beef cattle. Our different background’s complemented each other. Alex learned to milk and I learned how farrow and raise market hogs.
December 2014 Alex proposed at milking time in that very barn!
We then decided it was time to find a permanent piece of land to invest in. Renting was not helping us build and expand.
In June 2015 we closed on our farm in my home town in Greenville, NY. We are extremely thankful for what FSA (Farm Service agency) has to help young farmers as ourselves get started.
We then moved our entire farm and house in 6 days to avoid having to pay another month’s rent on the farm and where we rented a house. We could not be more thankful for all of our family and friends pitching in to help us make this happen while both working full time jobs!
In September 2015 we got married right here on our farm in the back pasture. It was the perfect day.
Prior to this we had no running water or electric to our barns. We waited until after the wedding so we did not have everything dug up.
Instead of a honeymoon we got right to work. Well back to our day jobs the farm and working nights and weekends on running water and electric to our three barns, But we also still had to put up our third barn.
With an operating loan we purchased a clear span barn. But we put it up ourselves to save money. Anything we can do ourselves and not hired out is not a time saver but a money saver.
With the help of my parents, brothers, and neighbors we were able to get the water and electric to the barns and the hoop barn up by late December 2015!