• Hometown: Elkland, Mo.
• Family: Husband, Jeffrey; daughters, Brynlee and Saydee; and sons, McKoy and Kolsyn
In Town: For Amber Hardison, her work outside the farm is right inside her home. With a toddler and a newborn in tow, she’s a home educator for her two oldest children. Amber said the ability to homeschool on the farm is a true blessing because the children get to have hands-on, real-life experience on the farm.
In the Country: Amber and her husband Jeffrey own 40 acres and rent another 140 where they raise Beefmaster and crossbred cattle. They are working on phasing out their commercial herd and solely running registered Beefmaster.
Farm life is in Amber’s blood. Her mother and stepfather, Michele and Wendall Cansler, raised Beefmaster cattle on a piece of land in Long Lane, Mo., while she was growing up. She’s continued the tradition in her own family.
“On the farm, it’s not about what I can or can’t do. Things have to be done regardless. Feeding, sorting, vaccinating, weaning calves, helping pull a calf, working with the calves to be halter broke – I am only a part of every process. It takes all of us to make the farm run properly,” she said.
Being able to farm as a family means everything to her. “We are very thankful and fortunate God gives us the health and ability to do what we love and enjoy together as a family.”
Amber loves that her children are learning work ethic via the farm. Caring for the animals and getting them ready for shows teaches them responsibility. The farm helps with homeschool curriculum too.
“Our oldest, Brynlee, is at an age where she is able to do a lot with the cattle. It may just be regular chores to some people, but with homeschooling, she is getting to learn by doing and experiencing every part of what it takes to raise beef cattle and why every step in how we care for them is important,” she said.
Every day on the farm is an opportunity for learning.
“I love how I can incorporate watching a baby calf be born into our science for the day, or even something as simple as figuring feed rations for math. Everything that happens on the farm is an opportunity for teaching and learning.”