[Valerie:] "The lifestyle is probably, I think, one of the best in the world. You get to be outside, you work with animals, and grow crops, and you're kind of your own boss. But it's more the feeling that you have. There's very family oriented, a very relaxing, loving environment. So, it makes it hard to leave the farm… I grew up north of Waco on a farm. My dad farmed so I've been on a farm my whole life… I always liked it. I was always outside; I was always with my dad outside either working with the livestock or out in the field with him. So yeah, it's a love that I had from childhood. So I was very fortunate to marry a farmer.
     [Mark:] "My dad farmed and my brothers – I've got two brothers that farm with us. And so that [farming] just kind of fell into place. I liked running machinery and liked the crops and the challenges that went along with it every day, even though there's long hours. But you're kind of doing something different all the time… Well, I think we've got all the conveniences that anybody would have anymore between electricity and Internet services, even though we don't have necessarily the high speed or the high tech. But we basically have access to it."
     [Valerie:] "I think anymore there's very few people that live without the basic amenities that anybody would have. I think farmers generally are more conservative with what they do, you know. They try to not waste electricity, waste water. They're very conservative with what they do. A lot of people have gardens and grow their own vegetables. And they eat at home a lot more often than people in town because you have to drive to go [to town]. And you won't do that most of the time. And [with] the hours farmers work, you don't have the time to go out socially as much as people in town do. And the kids are limited. If they want to be in functions the children are limited unless the parent can drive them until they're a certain age. They aren't in as many activities either because of that so they are on the farm helping, working a lot of times."

Valerie Kaliff – Rural Lifestyles


Excerpts from Mark & Valerie’s Interview:

Farms Growing Bigger
The Bust of the 80s
Government Subsidies
Women on the Farm
Mysteries in the Country
Growing Monocultures
Efficiencies with Pivots
Mining Groundwater
Farm Equipment Innovation
Tractor Technology
Conservation Tillage
Computers on the Farm