Amy Sauerwein of Pineville, Missouri with her two kids. Submitted Photo.
Submitted Photo

Once she became a mother, Amy Sauerwein’s goals changed and led her to a rural way of life

PINEVILLE, MO. – What happens when a city-raised, high-heel wearing, successful businesswoman trades in her business suit and briefcase for muck boots and overalls? You get a rural revolution.

Amy Sauerwein knew very little of country living except for the occasional visit to her grandparent’s home where her Paw Paw was a self-proclaimed shepherd, raising sheep. Her grandma gathering eggs, picking and canning her own garden produce. 

Growing up in Springdale, Ark., in government housing where her step-dad was a police officer and her mom was a nurse, the sounds and smells of her grandparents’ farm were almost foreign but at the same time, intriguing and comforting. Even today she can drift back into childhood memories when smells of wood smoke take her back to her grandma cooking on the old wood cook stove in the kitchen. 

Trying to live her life with purpose, she went directly into corporate work straight out of high school by taking a position with A.G. Russell Knives.

She would soon advance to editor of the company magazine, finishing out a successful 10-year career with the company. 

In her “city” life, she would go on to be the event coordinator for the Walton Art Center and later a relationship manager for a business brokerage firm. 

But then at the age of 37, her priorities shifted from a successful career to motherhood when she became pregnant with her daughter Emma. Suddenly living in Fayetteville was not the ideal she wanted for raising children. 

After discussing it with her husband, Butch, they decided to purchase land in Southwest Missouri. She admits the transition from city and career woman to rural life was a change she was ready for, despite knowing little about how to get started growing garden produce or raising small livestock. 

Over the next few years and another baby, son Gus, she changed somehow from a go-getter in the corporate world to a go-getter advocate and organizer in supporting agriculture, rural living, and her country neighbors.

She turned to her biological father, who majored in agriculture, for advice in proper soil composition for gardening. But it would be the rural community that would draw her into their fold and teach her how to can produce and care for small livestock. 

“It was a few years before I truly got connected with our [rural] community,” Amy recalled. “Once I started going to their farms, seeing what they had, how they raised livestock, grew gardens and being so willing to teach me unselfishly…I knew how I lived my life and how I would raise my children would be forever changed.”

What Amy found is the often-hidden treasure of rural America.

Amy Sauerwein with her daughter working their booth at the local Farmer's Market. Submitted Photo.
Submitted Photo

“Growing up in town, we knew who our neighbors were and sometimes we got together for birthday parties with co-workers, but it was what they could get out of it,” she said. “Here, my neighbors come and help me plant, but they don’t expect anything in return. It is a much more genuine and deeper camaraderie. They are here because they want to be.” 

Her corporate networking, event planning and relationship-building skills have come in handy with helping the local farmers market grow. It is a different type of work, and where her heart is.

“Sometimes I look back at my old corporate life coordinating art of wine events, donor events and big galas and now I am out feeding the pig at 6 a.m.,” she said. 

It began with a drive by the little corner of Sims and where a lone woman, LaSandra McKeever, had a small table set up selling excess garden produce. The next year, LaSandra asked on Facebook if anyone else would like to join her. At the time, they had more eggs than they could handle, so they decided to join the market.

Emma and Gus have a combined egg business called “EGS Eggs” and sell chicken, duck and quail eggs, as well as selling baked goods and drinks at the Mountain Happenings Farmers Market and the local farm-to-family food hub. They hope to expand into selling poultry and rabbits in the future. 

The farmer’s market has turned into more than selling their own produce, it connects other farmers and ranchers with face-to-face customers where they can sell produce, canned goods and other items successfully. So, by coordinating things through the farmers market, to car shows and other events in McDonald County, the city girl can return the favor to her farming friends.

What started out simply, grew into a relationship and knowledge building base for Amy and her children, while planting a seed in both children to go into agriculture as their career of choice. If you ask Emma and Gus, their inspiration for agriculture…they will eagerly tell you that they want to be just like their mom in living the rural life.

For Amy, well she puts it simply. “I will die here doing this life.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here