My Generation

30 Days of Farms & Families: The Elmores

Day 23: Curt and Jessica Elmore raise little Owen and farm near Allerton.

I first came to know Curt Elmore in the open cattle barns at the Illinois State Fair. For years, our families' Shorthorn strings were tied across from each other in one of the old brick buildings. I can remember his dad, Joe, watching me fight to stay awake one afternoon – when I was supposed to be watching our cattle – and coming over to tell me to go take a nap, that he'd watch the cattle. So very nice. Especially since we'd probably been up since 4 a.m. or something equally ridiculous.

However, it was through our Cultivating Master Farmers program that I came to know Curt and his wife, Jessica, much better. They were members of the recently-graduated Class of 2011. It's been a joke that the young farmers who go through the program, graduate either married or with more children than they had when they started the program. The Elmores are no exception! Their adorable little man, Owen, was born last March, to much cheering and congratulations from their fellow CMF classmates.

Curt and Jessica met during graduate school at Kentucky. Jessica is an Ohio farm girl, and Curt's family farmed near Allerton, in Vermilion County, and according to Curt, Jess's requirements for a husband included "barn sense": i.e., have enough sense to shut the gate behind you. Lucky for Curt, he passed with flying colors! Today, he and Jessica farm 1,750 acres in Vermilion County, having taken over from Curt's parents in 2007. They raise corn and soybeans, and have a few horses.

Jessica hopes that a visitor to their farm would come away knowing that they are approachable, honest, hardworking individuals. "We enjoy producing food and products that make the world what it is today," she adds.

Curt admits that the inaccuracies about agriculture irritate him "to the nth degree."

"It’s frustrating to hear these things and it also makes me sad that the journalism isn’t done in a more through or truthful manner," he says. "However, it is also comforting that social media has an easy outlet to attempt correct these."

It's something that should be fairly easy for a farm with a philosophy like theirs: "To be a good steward of the land. One of our key long-term objectives is to always run an operation that is honest, productive, on the cutting edge of current technology and production practices."

30 Days of Farm & Families
Day 1: The Webels
Day 2: The Mies Family
Day 3: The Thomases
Day 4: The Stewarts
Day 5: The Weavers
Day 6: The Hawkinsons
Day 7: The Kortes
Day 8: The Walters
Day 9: The Schillings
Day 10: The Martins
Day 11: The Pratts
Day 12: The Bowmans
Day 13: The Pollards
Day 14: The Wachtels
Day 15: The Strodes
Day 16: The Buntings
Day 17: The Andras Family
Day 18: The Liefers
Day 19: The Purvis Family
Day 20: The Jones Family
Day 21: The Smiths
Day 22: The Buhrows

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