In my wrap-up of the PFI meeting a few weeks back, I failed to mention the marriage proposal one of Linda’s students made in front of the entire PFI gathering. The following is a story from Agri-News.
Young Farmer Proposes at PFI Annual Meeting
By Jean Caspers-Simmet
LEGRAND, Iowa —For Garrett Caryl the recent Practical Farmers of Iowa annual conference was the perfect place to propose to his partner Rebecca Lamb. When he and other beginning farmers participating in PFI’s new Savings Incentive Program were introduced, Caryl, 21, and Lamb, 20, were asked to talk about their operation.
While on stage, Caryl got to the heart of the matter. “I really wouldn’t be here without Becky,” he said. “She’s a special gal.” With that, he popped the question, “Rebecca Lamb would you marry me?” He got on his knee and offered her a diamond ring.
“I suddenly realized, ‘He’s going to do this in front of everybody,” said Lamb who readily accepted Caryl’s proposal. “I was happy and shocked. I had no idea what he was doing.” The couple said they will likely wait a couple years before they have the actual wedding. “I’m pretty excited to start my life with Garrett,” Lamb said.
The couple met at Iowa Valley Community College in Marshalltown. Caryl, who is a certified welder, is in the entrepreneurial diversified agriculture program. Becky is studying to be an art teacher.
Caryl works full-time at Green’s Products in Conrad while he’s attending school because he believes in paying cash. He services semis. “I was a dorm RA, and Becky and I met when I was playing a prank on some baseball players,” Caryl said. “Becky had never farmed, but one of the things I liked about her was that she wasn’t afraid to scoop hog manure with me on a cold windy day.”
Caryl is building his farming operation in between school and work. Last year he and Lamb raised vegetable starts, 15 broilers and five Berkshire hogs at his Colo home. They produce a worm tea from red wiggler worms that they raise in totes. They feed the worms apple and potato scraps and “anything that’s biodegradable.” They spray the tea on their crops, which last year included organic corn and vegetables.
This year the couple is renting an acreage near LeGrand. Eventually, they hope to rent the farmland that goes with the acreage. Since neither of them was raised on a farm, they’re starting small. This summer, they will raise 375 broilers, vegetable starts and a few vegetables. They also want to buy Red Wattle sows and get into niche pork production.
Caryl said Practical farmers of Iowa is a great organization. He learned about it through his ag courses. PFI has held its annual meetings at Iowa Valley Community College and he attended. When PFI offered the SIP program, Caryl applied. “I couldn’t have done the program without Becky,” Caryl said. “I’m dyslexic, and Becky helped with the writing and paperwork.”
Caryl said he thought he’d propose at the PFI meeting because “Becky would be less likely to say no in front of the group. PFI has been there for me. They’re like family.” The couple had been looking at engagement rings recently, and Caryl told Lamb to do some other shopping “because I wanted to talk them down on price. Really, I was making an appointment to come back and buy the ring.”
“It was very special to me to see her face that day,” Caryl said. “I really do love her. We both want a large family. We joke that we want 10 kids so that we’ll have a 12-row planter.” As a part of SIP, Caryl meets with mentor John Gilbert who farms at Iowa Falls. Through the program, Caryl and Lamb will save up to $100 per month for the next 24 months, and PFI will match the savings dollar for dollar up to $2,400. The money can be used for farm business purchases. They are also developing a business plan.
one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #192″