A Farm Mama's Story | by Ashley Reece
When I approached Holly with the idea of writing about my life as a farmer’s wife and mama to farm kids I really had no idea what I would talk about, but I knew my family has a unique story to tell. If you would have told me 15 years ago that I would end up married to a farmer with three kids who eat, breath, and sleep the agricultural world I would have laughed din your face. I was on a one-way road out of Oklahoma. Now 15 years later, here I am. Married to that farm boy with three amazing children. When I think of raising children in the agricultural world it makes me giddy inside. You see, we live on a 160 acre working farm here in Southwest Oklahoma. My husband farms over 3000 acres with various crops and beef cattle. My children show livestock (it’s a thing!), and the kids and myself ride horses competitively. Though you will be able to read my story here, you will get a much better glimpse of our lives through the images. Some are not the best because lets face it… I don’t lug my big camera all over the farm everyday. Some times my phone is the best glimpse into our lives.
Throughout the images you will see a husband and father who is the hardest working man you could ever meet, and who loves his family fiercely. A mama, who struggles with self-doubt and confidence, but smiles and cheers her babies on anyway.
A young girl, who is growing up too fast, but loves her lambs and works hard to make them champions. A girl who knows that at the end of the day, no matter how attached you get… they are food and they don’t stay. Kiley is a child who works hard at the things she loves, and that is showing lambs and riding her horse Charlie. She has the kindest heart and a sassy mouth to go along with. She had a wonderful experience this past spring, and got to show her lamb where most people only dream of showing. The grand drive at the Oklahoma Youth Expo (it’s basically the super bowl of livestock shows) She showed Franklin the Shopshire for a reserve breed championship, and that is a huge accomplishment in this world. She loves with her whole heart and she is truly a champion! As a mama I couldn’t be more proud.
You will also find my middle. My calm. My worker bee. My heart. Parker is such a man and he is only 10. He loves to brag about his driving skills (drives better than his mama!) and if it moves here he can drive it! We have some big tractors, semis, cotton strippers… you name it and we probably have one! He also knows where every single mud puddle is! If there is mud he is driving or stomping right through it! This boy lives his best life every single day, and always has a smile ready for me. He loves his mini aussie and farming video game, but will do any sort of chore I ask of him. He’s the boy who gets bucked off and gets right back up. He knows no adversity. Nothing can knock him down because he gets right back up every time. He is the sweet to his sister’s sassy, and his little brothers spunky. My middle is the rock to our whole family. He is the beacon, and exudes cool and calm. Our animals gravitate to him. He has helped birth baby calves, and he has cried when they cross to the other side. He will lay with a sick baby and just be. I always tell him his wife is one lucky woman. He just grins and says Awe mom!
And my baby… my bean as I call him. My little Wesley is just that! A tiny to for six years old, but has the biggest personality I have ever seen. He can go from zero to sixty in about 2 seconds, and he is constantly on the go! He is my little miracle that shouldn’t have survived his infancy, but knew the world and his family needed him so much. He is our sour patch kid! Along with the other two he has a fierce love for animals. He is the one who gets giddy and excited each year before show season when we get the new project animal. He is specific in the breed of pigs he likes to show, and will only show Spots. The worst day is when we have to walk them to the market truck. Thank God for big brothers to comfort when his little heart breaks. Like the big kids he knows what the animals are for, and he knows that they are not pets to be kept, but that has never matter to him. He falls in love every single time. Like I said, he is a tiny tot, but he is strong willed! He shows his 1400-pound horse, Tucker (and anyone else who doesn’t already know!) who is boss every chance he gets. He is my kiddo that loves horses the most, and he gets that from his mama! I’m so excited to see this kid grow and change the world, but I’m also sad that he is our last, our baby, and he gets a little bit bigger every day.
My husband and I pride ourselves in raising children that are grateful for what they have, are willing to help, and would give you everything they have if you needed it. That is just the standard in our home. While my childhood was troublesome, my husband had a good upbringing. Our goal is to raise good humans who go out into the world and make it better. The amount of responsibilities that our children have at 12,10, and 6 could rival most adults. Our children work hard and they reap the benefits of that hard work. At the end of the day they are three pretty amazing kids who just like to run in the puddles.