Kellie Blair: Keep your eye on the goal

By Kellie Blair

Kellie Blair smiles with her two children and husband in front of an Iowa State University banner back-drop.
Through hard work, care, and faith, Kellie Blair said challenges can be overcome and joys found in both farming and raising children.

On our farm, we do a lot of work advocating for conservation. When I say we advocate, I mean that we tell our story and how it works for us. What works on our farm doesn’t always work for others.

Conservation on the farm doesn’t look the same everywhere, and includes cover crops, no-till/strip-till, wetlands, drainage water management/recycling, extended crop rotation, grassed waterways, terraces, and many more. The goal of conservation is the same no matter how it looks – to leave the land better than we found it.

Motherhood is similar.

There are a lot of different ways to raise kids. We raise our kids on the farm. They get to see the circle of life for our livestock and our crops. They learn about hard work and faith. They go to a relatively small school (in a large district). We are involved in the community in any way we can be. The kids hear about the generations of farmers before us and how they did things.

The goal is to raise them to be hardworking, kind to others, and overall good people.

The goals of farming and motherhood are clear, but there are many complex ways of reaching those goals. There is a lot of information out there to help us, and a lot of misinformation that we need to filter out. We must choose what we want to try and take in. I am trying my best in both worlds, and I’m not perfect.

A lot of times, I’m blindsided as a mother and as a farmer.

We make plans, we have our ideal outcomes, but only God knows what is going to happen. As I evolve as a mother and a farmer, my worries and focus also evolve. Every year and every season, I learn more – I know what to prepare for and can adapt a little better. My role as a mother has changed just as seasons on the farm change.

As our kids’ interests and ages change, I’ve had to pivot and adapt. I try to be a good example to my children as a person, and I try to be a good example as a farmer to other farmers. I have a long way to go, I will continue to keep my eye on the goal and do my best.

I can only leave the rest to God.