Name: Melody Simpson
In Town: “A day in the office means being on the phone, on the computer- usually it’s hectic and people are in and out- somebody always needs something,” Melody Simpson laughed. Melody has worked as a Patient Account Manager for Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, Mo., for 17 years. Melody helps medical billers figure out problems and patients figure out why their insurance didn’t pay something. Her job demands keeping up with changes the government makes in Medicare, Medicaid and insurance. “I like the ever-changing environment, the busyness of the job.”
On the Farm: “A day on the farm is laid back, no set hours. I really love the farm and it’s something we do as a family; everyone has their place on the farm.” Melody’s family farm is Jedlicka Ranch in Koshkonong, Mo. Her parents, Martin and Betty Jedlicka, started the farm and got Melody and her brothers, Mike and Dale, involved in showing their registered Charolais cattle. Melody and her husband, Robert, have also carried on the family tradition with their eleven-year-old daughter, Teanna.
The Simpsons have about 15 head of registered and crossbred Charolais cattle. The Jedlicka Ranch runs a commercial herd of approximately 150 head.
Bringing both worlds together: Melody and her husband meet-up at the farm every evening after work. Melody’s mother has picked Teanna up from school, so she is already there. Melody’s brothers and parents make their living on the farm and are able to catch them up on the day’s activities.
The family often uses horses on the farm, “Recently my brothers and I moved cattle on horseback, like we did when we were kids. It was a nice opportunity to keep that family unity.”
“I never take a trip without kids and cattle.” Melody said, adding that her office director, Judi Wheat, encourages employees to take time off to do things with their family. “Teanna’s livestock shows have become a part of their lives, too. I feel I’m very fortunate to work at a place like that.”
Melody said that there has never been a time when she wasn’t involved in both the business and farming worlds. “Working on the farm keeps the family unity. I talk to my parents and my brothers everyday. What a blessing to have that family connection.”
By Sabrina Cornman