Tales & Traditions: Russell Family- Jasper, MO

It's been a long time, I mean LONGGGGG time, since I gave ya'll a sneak peak into the Tales & Traditions project. I've moved to a different state, started a different job, AND got engaged. Holy cow. BUT this project is still happening + we're trucking right along. 

Back in March I hung out with the Russell family...take a look here..

“A farmer has to have farming in their blood because they will [inevitably] have one bad year,” explains Joan. “But by spring they are ready to go again. If they don’t have it in their blood, they don’t last. They have to love it.”

It’s no secret that Orie had farming in his blood and while his family started growing, it was clear that the family name wasn’t the only thing that would be carried on through the next generation. Caleb, Kelsey and Molly are doing their best to ensure the third generation of their family carries on the legacy of farming they proudly inherited.

“We have a small herd of 20 momma cows. Our schedules aren’t conducive for much more than that,"shares Caleb. “Sometimes we don’t even do a good job of that. Mom does a great job of taking care of most of it.”

The family works together, but according to Russell, the kids and their mother are the glue that holds the operation together.

“I think Suzanne does a good job [of taking care of the cattle]. I think she’s still showing cattle through her kids and she said, ‘I am not’ but I told her they wouldn’t still be showing cows if she wasn’t the one out there doing all the work,” confessed Joan. “She checks them twice a day and when the kids are gone, she and Mark take care of them.”

Suzanne doesn’t mind the work because it means she is carrying on a family legacy.

“You could say I’m paying it forward because there was a time when my parents were taking care of mine,” said Suzanne. 

Read the full story and see ALL of the never before seen photos in my upcoming book 'Tales and Traditions: the Steadfast Faces of Agriculture.' Details on the release date and how to purchase will be announced as soon as possible. 

Be on the look out for more excerpts and photos coming soon! 

Love and hugs, 


Brittany CoffeeComment