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Swine Obstacle Courses, the Joy of Aging, and Agritourism with Jenn Colby
Episode 2414th March 2024 • Barnyard Language • Caite Palmer and Arlene Hunter
00:00:00 01:42:06

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In this conversation, Arlene and Caite interview Jen Colby, a farmer from Vermont, about her experiences in agriculture and agritourism. Jen shares her journey into farming and the various businesses she runs, including a podcast, farm stays, and an Airbnb. She discusses the challenges and rewards of hosting farm stays and the importance of managing profitable farm businesses. Jen also highlights the lessons she has learned from first and skip generation farmers and the considerations and regulations involved in starting farm stays. In this part of the conversation, the topics discussed include farmstay structures and privacy, advice for couples in farming relationships, parenting challenges on the farm, raising an only child on the farm, parenting advice, and Jenn's dominant category at the county fair: swine obstacle course. In this conversation, the hosts discuss various topics related to personal experiences and interests. They cover unconventional animal agility, repetitive motion injuries from parenting, the frustrations of aging, supporting children's interests, and the art of info dumping and special interests.

Connect with Jenn Online




  • Farm stays and agritourism can be a profitable and rewarding addition to a farming business.
  • Hosting farm stays requires careful consideration of time commitments, marketing, and maintenance.
  • First and skip generation farmers bring unique perspectives and creativity to the agricultural industry.
  • Succession planning can be a complex and emotional process, requiring open communication and honest discussions.
  • Navigating bureaucracy and regulations is an important aspect of starting and managing farm stays. Farmers face unique challenges when it comes to hosting farmstay guests due to the layout and privacy of their farms.
  • Communication and understanding are key in relationships where one partner is a farmer and the other is not.
  • Parenting on the farm can be isolating, but finding ways to spend quality time with your child and following their interests can help strengthen the relationship.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, and it's important to respect and support your child's individuality and interests.
  • The county fair can be a fun and competitive event for farmers, with unique categories like swine obstacle courses. Unconventional animal agility, such as pig and rabbit agility, can be a delightful and entertaining activity.
  • Parenting can lead to repetitive motion injuries, as the body undergoes changes and strain from carrying and caring for children.
  • Aging can bring about unexpected aches, pains, and limitations, which can be frustrating but also a reminder of the wisdom gained.
  • Supporting children's interests, even if they are not personally engaging, is important for fostering their happiness and growth.
  • Info dumping, or sharing extensive knowledge about a special interest, can be a way for individuals to express their passion and connect with others.


  • 00:00 Introduction and What Jen is Growing
  • 01:17 Jen's Businesses
  • 03:22 Agritourism and Farm Stays
  • 10:11 Jen's Background and Journey into Agriculture
  • 17:14 Lessons from First and Skip Generation Farmers
  • 25:14 Challenges of Succession Planning
  • 28:18 Agritourism and Farm Stays: Considerations and Experiences
  • 37:27 Expanding into Retreat Centers and Cabins
  • 40:17 Considerations for Starting Farm Stays
  • 41:34 Bureaucracy and Regulations in Farm Stays
  • 42:15 Farmstay Structures and Privacy
  • 45:10 Advice for Couples in Farming Relationships
  • 49:22 Parenting Challenges on the Farm
  • 50:53 Isolation and Loneliness as a Parent on the Farm
  • 57:02 Raising an Only Child on the Farm
  • 59:12 Parenting Advice: Following Your Child's Interests
  • 01:06:50 Jenn's Dominant Category at the County Fair: Swine Obstacle Course
  • 01:20:30 Delighting in Unconventional Animal Agility
  • 01:22:11 Repetitive Motion Injuries from Parenting
  • 01:23:18 The Frustrations of Aging
  • 01:26:18 Supporting Children's Interests
  • 01:30:43 Info Dumping and Special Interests

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