Sitting down to open up conversation about food and farming with South Dakotans and the farmers who grow it is always a delight. That is the heart of what Hungry for Truth is all about. True to our mission, we had the wonderful opportunity of connecting, Sioux Falls native and mommy blogger, Oksana Silchuk with soybean farmers, Steve and Charlotte Rommereim of Alcester, South Dakota to talk planting, animal care, modern pig barns, soybeans, and food. They spent a beautiful winter afternoon filled with good conversation and farm education. Today, Oksana is sharing her perspective of her recent South Dakota farm visit.
As a mom, I am always mindful to give my family the best. We all are. Whether its a warm and comfortable environment in my home or a healthy meal. I want my family to feel my deepest embrace with the way I take care of them. That’s why Silchuk Nest means so much to me. Its a place where I get to teach and nurture my kids. It’s a place where I get to prepare them to one day venture beyond the “nest” and be independent. It’s about creating a cozy and healthy atmosphere in my home, one corner at a time, and one day at a time. That’s what makes parenting enjoyable and fun! Right?
When I go to the grocery store, I often forget the “behind the scenes” that happens when our produce is farmed. I often feel like I know so little when it comes to the groceries I buy. Being part of the Hungry for Truth Ambassador Program, I became more aware of the process of farming and very appreciative of our hard-working farmers.
They say, “Everything good takes time” and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to farming. Last week I was so fortunate to have explored the beautiful hog farm of Steve and Charlotte Rommereim. You can instantly tell how meaningful and dear this farm is to them. Steve and Charlotte were so gracious to let me into their six-generation home where Charlotte was raised and answered many of my questions.
Both Steve and Charlotte were raised on the farm and have no regrets being hog farmers. You can just hear it in their voice how proud they are of caring and raising their pigs. Farm life was so different just a few decades ago but as technology changed, Steve and Charlotte adapted and now use technology to their advantage. I was amazed by how precise and efficient the facility is where the hogs are raised. The facilities were much cleaner than I expected and the pigs can be monitored on their phones.
As a consumer, I was impressed and honestly relieved about what goes into the meat. I also learned that hormones are illegal and any label on our meat that states “no hormones added” is a simple marketing tool. They both take pride in the quality hogs they raise without compromising the quantity which is at the moment is 6,200 hogs.
Through our conversation, I noticed that Steve and Charlotte are extremely hard workers. I also learned that the price of farming has increased a lot. It’s nearly impossible to just jump into farming now unless you already own the equipment and the land. The house they live in has been in their family for generations. Their beautiful home is well taken care of and you can see that same mentality all throughout their farm. They take pride in keeping the farm in tip-top shape as a way to honor the previous generations who lived there.
Another thing that I learned is that pork tenderloin is leaner than a chicken breast, something that was surprising to me. Charlotte who is a dietitian for rural hospitals and nursing homes in the area has recently got involved with some committees at the National Pork Board level where she educates the community on how food is produced and answer those common misconceptions on the safety of the meat we eat. I am thankful for people like Steve and Charlotte who have a passion for farming and set high standards when it comes to the quality of meat they produce and that we live in a state where high-quality protein is so accessible.
About Oksana Silchuk
I am Oksana Silchuk. I am a mommy blogger on Silchuknest.com. My husband Vitaly and I have been married for soon to be 10 years! I’m also a mom of two toddlers, Zion and Chloe, and my newborn baby Wes, who give my life so much purpose and meaning and keep me busy. Among all the busyness, I try to remind myself that life is about people and relationships. I enjoy deep and meaningful conversations, it’s a blessing to be able to get to know one’s heart.
I work part-time at a dental office. On days that I don’t work, you will find me chasing the babes while doing laundry and of course… ALL things creative! During nap time, I focus on my passion for fashion and design.
A photo can say 1,000 words. Unfortunately, my photos don’t always tell the back story – the crying toddler in the background, or the disaster in the sink. But you know what? Life is not meant to be perfect. I myself am a work-in-progress and the only good thing in me is the One who I surrendered my life to. With all this in mind, I’m looking forward to stretching my horizons and making new friends along the way…