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“Family farms are in a scary position right now, competing with large farming entities and fear of being taken over,” Dickes said. “I still feel it is exciting to live on a farm, doing it all, seeing how farming affects our lives and everyone’s lives around the country, changing the world,” Dickes said. Even though there is plenty of work for two families on the farm, the income in today’s ag economy will not support both of them. So, they make responsible choices for added income, allowing both families a chance to continue farming the family farm. Along with Eric and Holly having off-the-farm income, so does mother-in-law Sue. It is the farming way in today’s depressed ag climate. Looking forward to spring, Dickes will be planting a large garden with her mother-in-law, a gardening expert who fed her family of six children and in the past, could be seen selling extra produce at local farmers markets. She hopes to gain several gardening tips during the summer season. “I love living on the farm but right now my biggest fear is little kids getting in the way of farm equipment,” Dickes said. “So for now, I’m a caregiver but when I get a chance, I do help some and hope to do more down the road.” Dickes laughed when asked if she had a hobby and replied, “Ah, changing diapers and feeding hungry kids.” She loves being outside and knows some day she will have time to sew and make quilts but is content loving her life just as it is right now. “Farm life is the greatest way to raise kids, guide them to be good, hardworking kids and develop strong family values,” Dickes said. When Lori Eickhoff reminisces about being 18 years old and helping with the milking in the mornings before school and feeding bucket calves on her family’s farm, she knows all she could think was, “I need to get away from this.” Today Eickhoff laughs as she drives the feed truck through the cattle yards or rakes hay in the heat of summer on her husband Ken Eickhoff ’s family farm near Fordyce. Life is like a boomerang, bouncing stuff back at you she said. The couple has farmed together since they married in 1985. When she needs to be, she is a hands-on farm wife and that includes driving hubby’s John Deere combine or grain cart. “I did go on to college and became a registered nurse but when our kids came along, I just wanted to be home,” Eickhoff said. The couple decided to sacrifice the little extras like extravagant ucing... Introd vacations and driving shiny, new vehicles so they can afford health insurance, allowing Eickhoff to stay at home. Cut back where they can and make do has become their motto just like most farming families. Being a stay-at-home molded Eickhoff into a vital cog for the Eickhoff farming operation. Helping Ken and working beside him keeps the conversation between them strong. Once in awhile when she would take a part-time job working off the farm, it seemed messages between them were confused and she found herself out of the loop. She also found when she would come home from her nursing job, she had that on her mind and Ken would be thinking farm activities. Relating to each other was a challenge. “Now I’m right there with him, I know when the good and bad happens,” Eickhoff said. “I feel I can be more supportive of him and also he is more supportive of me because we are working together.” Now as their youngest of five Lori Eickhoff and grandson Carter graduates from high school, Eickhoff finds she is quite comfortable being a full-time farm wife. The Eickhoffs love all seasons and now in winter, it gives them a break from the rush of field work in spring, summer and fall. But they are looking forward to spring planting and gardening. “Let me dig in the dirt and I’m happy,” Eickhoff said. Looking forward to planting a garden, Eickhoff is already thinking about what to plant, where there are trees to replace or maybe plant new and are those shrubs exactly what she envisions around the house. That’s her hobby now. “But when the leaves are changing, and harvest is ready in the field, that’s both of our favorite time of the year, seeing what the year’s hard vWOMEN IN AG continued on page 24 YOUR SPECIAL OCCASION IS OUR SPECIALTY Creative And Delicious Catering For Every Occasion And Every Budget Greg Kiepke Hy-Vee Kitchen Manager/Catering Coordinator 2100 Broadway, Yankton Kitchen & Catering 665-3412 www.hy-vee.com HERVOICEvMARCH/APRIL 2018v21

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