CITY OF RESIDENCE: Schroeder
EDUCATION: Associates Degree in Science
COMPANY: Stange Homestead/ 3C Ranch
Growing up, I raised vegetables, rabbits, chickens and goats. My husband and I wanted to farm for a living, so we researched organic gardening and started raising chickens and pigs. We began visiting the farmers’ market as customers, learned so much from other farmers there, and ultimately became a vendor.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN THIS INDUSTRY?
WHAT DRIVES YOU TO SUCCEED?
I take pride in growing/raising chemical-free food for my family and being self-sufficient from the food industry. I love being part of the community, meeting new people, and providing customers with fresh local food that comes from seeds I planted or animals I raised, unlike a big box store.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED DURING YOUR CAREER? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES? The unpredictable weather is a challenge, and waiting on seeds to grow takes patience. We tried taking on too much too soon instead of perfecting one or two things at a time. We are still learning about new and better ways to do things every day.
WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT THE CURRENT AND FUTURE STATE OF YOUR PROFESSION? The food industry is vulnerable, and Texas experienced two shortages in one year: March 2020 due to COVID-19 related industry shutdowns and February 2021 due to the winter storm. We farmers and ranchers need to let our community know about local food resources so that people are not solely relying on grocery stores. I am excited about being a part of the growing local food movement. I love educating my community about how sustainable farming is economical from the ground up, starting with healthy, chemical-free soil that nourishes the vegetables as well as the pasture grasses for healthy animals and nutritious meats.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO UP-AND-COMING YOUNG WOMEN IN YOUR PROFESSION? Be fearless. If you have a passion to grow things, grow them. Do not be afraid to step out of the box and do something different. Everyone has at least one thing they are good at, and we need to start using our talents to build our community. Even if it’s just one small step, small steps put together makes one big step in the right direction.
WHAT CHARITY OR NONPROFITS DO YOU SUPPORT AND WHY? The farmers’ market is a program of the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent. Sometimes if we have leftover produce that didn’t sell, we give it to the market manager, who takes it back to the Food Bank so that they can give it to their clients. We are proud to provide farm fresh local produce to the Food Bank, because nobody should wonder where their next meal is coming from. We also donate canned goods and baked goods to raffles and silent auctions to help local charities. We want to teach our son the importance of giving
We have the pleasure of being part of the wonderful Victoria Farmers’ Market and Cuero Downtown Farmers’ Market Days, where we are able to bring our vegetables, meat, and baked and canned goods. We love being a part of the Schroeder community and are active in our local community events. We are also very involved in our little country church, Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Coletoville, where my husband is head of Christian education. IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU SERVE AND GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY?