Bringing Farming Front and Center During Transitional Times

Farmfront Board Member

Jenny Schweigert

We know you’ve read our posts and been inquisitive about the new group in cyberland. The inquisitiveness is shared. We want to meet you, hear your stories, experiences and journeys. First, we’ll share the vision of Farmfront and how it relates to you. Farmfront exists to serve the public during transitioning times, through agriculture awareness. When it comes down to the bones of 2020, the words connecting us all are transition and agriculture. If you aren’t somehow in a transitional phase of your life, we’d love to know what planet you are reaching us from.

Farmfront began as a soul searching mission in Elizabeth Nyman’s life. Her family’s farm, established in the 1970’s, sits in a mixture of tillable ground and timber in Greene County, Illinois. The large question has been what is the future of this land.

The farm has served as a hub to bring people together. A place where her parents grow soybeans, corn with the quaintness of a pumpkin patch and orchard. As retirement sits on the horizon, determining the path of transition spurred a concept, eventually leading to the development of Farmfront.

“Farmfront has inspired me to use the resources available, such as our family farm, to encourage job creation in agriculture. As our board grew, we were able to hone the best ways to meet that goal,” said Elizabeth Nyman, “The combination of our board’s life experiences is sure to provide the public a unique platform of helpful information and more importantly, community. This is a transitional time and likely the most challenging any of us will see in our lifetime.”

With a 501 (c) 3 in place, Elizabeth enlisted the assistance of Meagan Bryant, Stephanie Stewart and Jenny Schweigert; all board members of Farmfront. Brainstorming and new connections became abundant. Agriculture has touched each of their lives, drawing diverse passions. Then, COVID-19 became prevalent, and our world changed. Collectively, those passions and COVID-19 circumstances have resulted in an effort to enrich lives currently experiencing transition and strengthen economic development through the conduit of agriculture.

Through sharing of content, the group intends to assist Veterans in need of work, transitional farmers and ranchers, and those outside of agriculture who have an interest in learning more – those in search of job opportunity or concerned with food security.

“I was drawn to Farmfront due to our shared passion for the military. Growing up in a military family followed by working for a military and first responder not-for-profit, I knew I could make a difference by lending my expertise and network of Veterans.” Meagan Bryant continued, “The natural connection to agriculture stems from being an active FFA member in high school and my love for horses.”

In an effort to place practically to an occupation that tends to be viewed through a romantic lens, Stephanie Stewart brings her experience as a farmer. “Agriculture is in my roots. Additionally, the opportunity of having a co-worker who is a Veteran has given me an appreciation for the value Veterans can offer agriculture,” stated Stephanie.

Bringing to the table a decade of agriculture cheerleading is Jenny Schweigert. “As my children have become more independent, I began searching for a place where I could give back to the community. I observed other moms react to the food insecurity due to COVID-19. At the same time, I was witnessing friends struggle to make ends meet thus considering gut-wrenching decisions to sell their farms. Farmfront is a platform where I know I can pay-it-forward while incorporating my passion for agriculture.” said Jenny.

The organization will be sharing information, stories and how-to’s on a wealth of subjects. You can expect stories from farmers currently going through the transition of selling their farm and determining next steps. Outdoorsy moms will find blog posts connecting them to modern agriculture and the food supply system. Bonus: Activities engaging their children in learning about food production. Veterans and others looking to develop new skills can expect information about trades, beginning farming, farmers searching for help on their farms and job search tips.

It is a time of transition and our mission is to help you make those transitions in the best ways possible. We would love to hear your stories and experiences, too. You can do so by visiting the Contact page and shooting us an introduction.

 

 

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