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The Ins and Outs of Sugar Beet Farming and Managing Multi-Family Farms with Rita Herford
Episode 2015th February 2024 • Barnyard Language • Caite Palmer and Arlene Hunter
00:00:00 01:31:50

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Rita Herford, a farmer from Michigan, discusses her farming operation and the crops she grows, including sugar beets, corn, wheat, dry beans, and strawberries. She also talks about her transition into motherhood and coaching softball. Rita's husband also has a farm where they raise cattle. She explains the process of sugar production from sugar beets and the difference between cane sugar and beet sugar. Rita shares the challenges of balancing work and family responsibilities and the logistics of childcare and daycare as a farmer. This part of the conversation explores the challenges and joys of farming with children. It discusses the difficulties of balancing farm work with childcare responsibilities and the importance of communication and coordination in farming families.

The conversation also touches on the transition to parenthood and the struggles of parenting multiple children. Finally, it highlights the benefits of raising kids on the farm and the flexibility it provides. In this conversation, Rita Herford discusses parenting challenges, including dealing with allergies and the stress of raising girls in a world of unrealistic beauty standards. She also shares her experience of dominating at the county fair and the importance of family support. The conversation concludes with information on how to connect with Rita online.

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  • Balancing farm work and childcare can be challenging, but communication and coordination are key.
  • The transition to parenthood can be overwhelming, and seeking support and therapy can be helpful.
  • Each child is unique, and understanding their individual needs and love languages is important.
  • Raising kids on the farm offers flexibility and the opportunity for quality time together. Parenting can be challenging, especially when dealing with allergies and health issues.
  • It's important to support and appreciate each other as parents, even during difficult moments.
  • Unrealistic beauty standards can negatively impact self-esteem, especially for women and girls.
  • Family support and community are invaluable in balancing work and personal life.


  • 00:00 Introduction and Farming Overview
  • 03:36 Transitioning to Mom Life and Coaching Softball
  • 06:00 Husband's Farm and Cattle
  • 08:09 Sugar Beets and Sugar Production
  • 09:02 Growing Edible Beans
  • 12:28 U-Pick Strawberries and Family Involvement
  • 21:45 Choosing to Farm and Balancing Work and Family
  • 27:25 Logistics of Farming as a Couple
  • 34:13 Childcare and Daycare
  • 37:07 Challenges of Farming with Children
  • 40:30 Intergenerational Transfer of Farms
  • 44:49 Balancing Family and Business
  • 46:22 Creating a Harvest Tracker for Kids
  • 51:48 Communication and Coordination in Farming Families
  • 57:09 The Transition to Parenthood
  • 59:07 The Challenges of Parenting Multiple Children
  • 01:06:34 The Joys of Raising Kids on the Farm
  • 01:09:30 Parenting Struggles
  • 01:14:53 Parenting Challenges and Allergies
  • 01:17:51 Dominating at the County Fair
  • 01:19:19 Cussing and Discussing: Sleeping with Too Many Blankets
  • 01:21:22 Cussing and Discussing: Unrealistic Beauty Standards
  • 01:26:16 Appreciating Family Support
  • 01:28:08 Connect with Rita Herford

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