Missouri Farm Wife: Amber Singer, Hale, MO.

“Our work is never done, so you really have to prioritize to keep going.”

By: Kelsie Ferguson

The middle of July, heat index topping 95 degrees at 8 o’clock in the evening, cows
mooing, kids buzzing and the smell of funnel cakes in the air can only mean one
thing in Missouri…the county fair. Amber Singer has already parked her camper, unloaded her boys’
4-H projects, and has started to lay down a bed of straw for the show cattle when she gets a
call from her husband…“Yes, you can spray them down… Yep, I’m sure it’s OK… OK thanks…
See you soon. ”

Buddy and Amber Singer from rural Hale, MO are in the business of raising boys,
cattle, chickens, ducks, hay and row crops. Amber does not let being the only
woman on the farm keep her from being involved in the family business.
I was able to hang out with Amber in the cattle barn at the Livingston County fair
grounds so I asked her what a normal day looked like for her on the Singer Farm.
• 6:00 am – “We round up the show cattle and bring them in. Yes, we feed our
animals before we feed ourselves.” She says with a smile. “On Sunday’s we
usually ‘meal prep’ for the animals and we will weigh their food out all at
once so it makes it easier for us during the week.”
• 7:00 am – 9:00am – “We take the show cows on a walk, then wash, brush and
blow out their hair every day. We make sure they are standing for two
hours.”
• 9:30 am – 10:00 am “The boys then chore their ducks and chickens.”
• 10:15 am – “Breakfast.”
• 11:00 am – Quittin’ Time – “Everything!” She jokes. “Keeping everyone
moving forward, helping where I can, taking lunch, mowing hay, raking hay,
going to town to get parts, checking crops. That’s my job.”

Farm life really is something new every day. In addition to her dual roles of Mom
and Farmhand, Singer has had to change her way of thinking from “checking things
off of a to-do list” to “organized priorities” in order to keep her family and operation
successful. “Our work is never done, so you really have to prioritize to keep going. When we are
between fields, I will stop by the house and throw something in the slow cooker. Or
if we are in the area to move equipment, I will run in the house and switch the
laundry.”

What makes Singer love the farm life? What makes her adamant about raising her
family as an ag family?  “What better way to live? It really is a wonderful lifestyle that teaches our kids real
life skills that they will have forever. My 13 year-old is constantly checking the
weather and market prices. He makes sure to let his dad know when we need to sell
to make the most money! Our boys (ages 13, 8 and 6) aren’t just learning how to
change fuel filters on old John Deere tractors, they’re learning that you can still be
successful by working with what you have and by being good to the land.”

As for the County Fair season, the Singers attend 10-12 cattle shows per year.
“We want our boys be good stewards to the land and animals and the only way for
them to learn is for them to be hands on in the operation and to let them have
responsibilities. There are so many opportunities within 4H and FFA that kids can
learn; it’s not just about the livestock. By the end of the summer, our boys will have
participated in: public speaking, judging, showing, photography and sewing. The fair
is a learning opportunity and it helps them to enhance personal growth and it also
establishes relationships that they do not get on the farm. It gets them out of their
comfort zone, meeting new people and building relationships.”

Carrying On..
“I try to be as encouraging as I can with my family – giving credit where credit is due
because the daily workload can be tiring. I know this lifestyle can be challenging and
I am so thankful that we can do it as a team. Our boys see Buddy and I working
together everyday and it gives them an example on how to work together. Buddy is
the fourth generation farmer on our farm and as we grow and expand, we are
calculating every move towards success because we want this to be a place that our
boys can come back to live and work, if they choose.”

As I watched her go back to work, it’s obvious the love Singer has for her family and
her Missouri farm. Her modest look: gold band, no makeup, messy bun and “Mom of
Boys” T-Shirt is a perfect representation of the Missouri Farm Wife. She wears her
role with pride…through and through!

If you know of anyone that deserves recognition as a #MissouriFarmWife email: KelsieFerguson3@gmail.com
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