As a critical care nurse in Orland Park, Ill., Janet McCabe isn’t exactly working in a low-stress field. It’s no surprise that, come weekend, she’s ready for a break. But Janet’s version of working for the weekend isn’t working all week so she can take a break — it’s working all week so she can farm.
“My husband, Joe, and I, along with our son, Kevin, farm about 500 acres in Cook and northern Will Counties,” Janet said. “We plant corn, soybeans, and wheat, and bale about 100 acres of hay, as well as the straw from the wheat. All three of us work full-time, so during the seasons, our days are long, as farming gets done after work and on the weekends.”
Janet, who takes care of paperwork, running for parts, raking and baling hay, as well as deliveries of hay and straw, grew up in a northwest suburb of Chicago and “didn’t even cut the grass” when she was growing up. But, that all changed when she met Joe in her second year of college at Northern Illinois University.
“We got married in 1985 and moved to Orland Park because, by then, Joe was already farming part-time with his Dad,” Janet said. “He grew up in Orland Park on 80 acres that has been in his father’s family for generations. So, I guess I got involved in agriculture because I feel in love with a farmer, but then I grew to love it as well.”
In her spare time Janet also enjoys serving on the Cook County Farm Bureau board and working on their Public Policy and Public Relations team.
“I’m a member of our Speakers Bureau and really enjoy speaking to people and groups about farming,” Janet said. “It’s amazing how many people are eager for the information and really have no prior experience with agriculture or only know agriculture from the ‘sound bites’ they get on the news.”
Don’t forget to check out all the awesome blogs happening this month over at Prairie Farmer.
For the full Faces Behind Your Food Series, check out the links below:
- Intro: 30 Days
- Day 1: Managing…everything
- Day 2: Building Relationships
- Day 3: 50/50
- Day 4: Irons in the Fire
- Day 5: Loaded Up and Trucking
- Day 6: Variety is the Spice of Life
- Day 7: Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.
- Day 8: You have got to start somewhere.
- Day 9: The earth that calls me.
- Day 10: Teaching changes the way I look at things at home.
- Day 11: A Family Affair
- Day 12: Diversification.
- Day 13: Bigger is Better