Last Updated on August 6, 2020
Walking through her chicken houses for the third time in a day, organic chicken farmer Bobbi Jo Webber can’t help but smile: She is in her happy place.
A Family Affair
Bobbi Jo has been farming for more than 20 years. With her husband and kids as much a part of the farm landscape as the chicken houses, she believes family is everything: “It’s the whole reason we do what we do!” she exclaims. “I was always interested in agriculture, and that’s what I pursued in college. I met my now-husband at 16-years-old, and I was already helping out on his family’s farm. After college, working on the farm just made sense.”
Day by Day
Bobbi Jo loves working on the farm today just as much as she did two decades ago. Every day is different and mostly dictated by the age of the chickens and the weather. Her time is usually spent in the chicken houses, working in the fields in the tractors, bookkeeping in the office, and caring for her two kids. Family means everything and always comes first.
“If I were to describe a ‘typical’ day, I would say we spend 4–6 hours in the chicken houses in the morning, stop for lunch, spend the afternoon working in the shop or in the fields, take another trip through the chicken houses, eat dinner, and end the day with—you guessed it—another stroll through the chicken houses,” says Bobbi Jo.
Like anything in life, a day on the farm doesn’t always go according to plan. Equipment breaks, repairs need to be made, parts need to be purchased, meals get missed, the kids get sick or have activities— things are always changing.
For Bobbi Jo, it’s all about being prepared.
Wearing Many Hats
“My favorite thing about farming is educating people on what we do and how we do it,” says Bobbi Jo.
She’s always willing to talk to people about agriculture. “Farmers make up about one percent of the U.S. population. People are very removed from farming, and they just don’t understand how far we’ve come or how much things have changed.”
She strives to be transparent and answer any question she gets asked. She believes it’s important for people to know where their food comes from, and she believes there’s no better teacher than a farmer.
“I want the world to know what it’s really like. Being a farmer means you have to be a jack of all trades: a teacher, a marketing expert, a laborer, a mechanic, an accountant, a plumber, an electrician, an environmentalist, a public speaker—the list goes on,” says Bobbi Jo. “In order for us to be successful, we have to take on every aspect of agriculture and more.”
The Rewards of Farming
While Bobbi Jo spends a lot of time in many areas of the farm, in the field and off, with her kids, behind the wheel of a tractor, and on social media as an educator, she’ll always find solace in her daily trips through her chicken houses.
“If I could give one piece of advice to a young person who’s looking to get into farming, I’d say find what makes you happy, and do that.”
Danielle Sirk is the Senior Copywriter at ButcherBox with a background in storytelling and food marketing. She believes in the power of meal prepping, poetry, running, and the great outdoors.