Some people use their phones as an alarm clock in the morning. Others wake up to a pet, a loved one, or even the sound and smell of breakfast cooking. A select few, however, rise with the sun—or before—to meet the day and see what mother nature has planned.
Niman Ranch farmer Gina Gadient is one of those few. Having been in farming for her entire life, she finds that every day still brings something new.
Gina grew up on a dairy farm, and told herself she would never marry a farmer—but here she is, 30 years later, farming with her family in eastern Iowa and loving it.
Gina and her husband work as a team, making decisions together. Their son John and daughter Elle both step up to the plate to help out as much as they can. “Our family has connections with our animals, we raise our animals so they have a good life,” says Gina.
There’s no such thing as a typical day on the farm, but Gina’s primary responsibility is to take care of the farrowing sows. She checks for new litters, making sure their bedding is adequate, feeders are full, and water is working. “I believe women have a maternal instinct when dealing with mother animals. To me, the mamas appear to be calmer and less nervous when I’m around. That’s why I’m most involved when the sows and cows are giving birth,” says Gina.
New joys also come with new challenges. On the farm, there’s never a dull moment, especially during the spring. It can be a stressful time, with cows and pigs both in their farrowing season.
Weather also plays a huge factor in how it’s going to go—not every day is 70 degrees and sunny. “Chores still need to be done whether it is 50 below, storming outside, or if you are invited to a wedding,” Gina says.
The farming industry is constantly evolving and changing, but not everything is. “I love living in the country where I can enjoy the sunrises and sunsets. I never take them for granted,” Gina says. For her and her family, the hard work always pays off.
At ButcherBox, we work with dedicated farmers—including Gina and her family—to deliver high-quality meat to our members’ doorsteps. Together, we’re helping to improve the livelihoods for people who believe in raising animals the right way.