Vetters are grateful to raise their children on Emmons County diversified family farm
For Corey and Joy Vetter, the quality of life in a rural setting was a major motivation for them to make the move to the family farm. They wanted to move back to the Linton area to raise their children.
“We both like the small town setting, and we wanted to raise our kids back home, where they have grandparents and family close by,” Joy said.
Both Corey and Joy grew up in Emmons County. Corey is the son of Lenard and Barb Vetter of Linton, and Joy is the daughter of Malvin and Barbara Wynveen of Strasburg.
Corey graduated from Linton High School in 2004 and from North Dakota State University in 2008. He received his B.S. Degree in Ag Systems Management and worked at Gate City Bank in Bismarck following graduation.
Corey and Joy were married in 2008 and lived in Bismarck while Joy completed her nursing education. They were planning on staying in Bismarck for awhile longer since Medcenter One was offering a tuition reimbursement program for students who were willing to work for them for three years.
However, in January of 2009, Corey’s mother, Barb, broke her leg right before calving season.
“Dad needed help, so I moved back to the farm to help with calving, and Joy had to stay in Bismarck to finish school,” Corey said.
After Joy finished, she moved to Linton and began working as a part-time registered nurse (RN), completing her orientation at the Linton Hospital. In May of 2009 she was hired as a full-time RN. Joy has accepted the position of the Emmons County Health Nurse at Emmons County Public Health and will begin working there in April.
Corey recalls how he as a young boy loved being on the farm.
“I remember chasing after grandpa and dad everywhere,” he said. “They said they had trouble keeping track of me.”
Corey was involved in the farming operation at a very early age and always knew he would want to come back to the farm to raise a family.
Joy added, though, that the hours are long for him.
In 2009, they moved to the farm, and they have not had a real bad year since they have been back. They realize though that without the help of Corey’s parents and the off-the-farm income, they probably would not be able to live this lifestyle.
“My parents are helping us get started, and we are grateful for that,” Corey said. “We did not have to jump in and purchase land and machinery.”
With land prices nearly doubling since 2009, the Vetters know that would not be feasible, and with having two children, they need the financial stability the nonfarm income provides.
“My income, especially having health insurance benefits, really helps out,” Joy said.
Vetters say it appears more young people are moving back to the farms and the rural communities in the past couple years.
College-educated and career-minded young adults are leaving the city to work the land, a move made possible by an improved farm economy and the realization that America desperately needs young farmers and ranchers. Most young farm- ers couldn’t make it without help from family. The costs of the machinery and land leave profit margins dangerously thin.
In years past, families carried enough farm debt that they didn’t have much to offer children trying to get started. But after five straight years of historically high farm prices, the debt to asset ratio for American farms now is 10.2 percent, the lowest it’s been since the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service began collecting the data a half century ago. Favorable conditions have made it easier for families to consider passing on farms and ranches to their children without saddling the next generation with a legacy of debt.
The combination of favorable weather conditions, an improved farm economy, the assistance this young couple is receiving from their parents and Joy’s off-the-farm employment have enabled them to return to the farm and raise their family.
“We love this lifestyle and raising our children near family and on a farm,” the Vetters said.