“The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.” ― C. JoyBell C.
Name: Gina Kelly Ellis Age: 56
What Is Your Involvement In Agriculture? I have been involved in agriculture as long as I can remember. First moving pipe, hoeing and driving the tractor on my daddy’s farm. Then, later as a farm wife raising a family to love the farm life and all that it represents. My children, Kristy and Kyle were both raised to love the farm and to work on the farm.
What has been your most difficult moment in agricululture? My most difficult moment in agriculture is also my story. In July of 2000, my husband, Mike and my daughter, Kristy and I were at the lake taking a few days off for the holiday weekend. My 20 year-old son had stayed home to watch the irrigation systems. On July 1st, My husband and friends were on the lake on Jet-Ski’s when his was suddenly struck. He never regained consciousness. We spent the next couple of days in the hospital watching drips and monitors and then finally, signing organ donation papers. I walked into that hospital on July 1st a farmer’s wife. I walked out on July 4th, the farmer. My son, Kyle was immediately made a man as he stepped into his dad’s very large shoes. He has been my rock since that day. I have been amazed at how much he had learned from his dad in such a short time.
This truly was my most difficult moment in agriculture and today, nearly12 years later, through hail and winds and drought and price drops, I recognize that the God who carried me through the worst of times is the same God as the One who carries me through all the other trials on the farm and in life.
What has been your most joyous moment in agriculture? It is so hard to point to one moment as the most joyous. Life on the farm is so wonderful, even when things are not good. After Mike was gone, my task on the farm became managing the cattle operation while Kyle managed the row crops. There were wonderful days, when I would sit on the fence and just watch the black cows in the wheat and think about how gorgeous a sight it was. Those cattle became my therapy! There was that one year when the cotton just turned snow white and we couldn’t believe the yield! There were precious times shared with my son and daughter on the farm. There were those wonderful days of spending time with Mike’s granddad who had broken that very land out with 2 mules and a plow! Listening to his stories. Refereeing the “discussions” between this 90 year old and this 20 year old as they decided whose way would work best on the farm. Our mantra became, “What Would Mike Do?”
Watching my two grandsons who never got to meet their granddad, Mike. Watching them as they run and play on the farm or ride the tractor with Kyle. I can watch them and just imagine the joy Mike would have gotten from this. The joy of watching my son, who looks so like his dad, on the farm is certainly at the top of the list.