Meet BigSkyFarmHer

Name: Michelle Erickson-Jones

Farm: Erickson Farm

Ranch: Gooseneck Land and Cattle

4th Generation Farmer — married to a 4th Generation Rancher.

Boy Mom. Our oldest was born in October 2015 and our youngest was born in April 2017.

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Hobbies: Farming, ranching, hunting, traveling, sports, reading (I do not get to do nearly enough), writing, shopping, and spending time with my family and friends.

Passions: Family, agriculture, farm policy, history, and political science. I am a research junkie.

Favorite sports teams: Red Sox, Seahawks, North Carolina Tar Heels, Wooster Scots.

Background: As I have mentioned I am a fourth generation farmer. I was born and raised on a farm in South Central Montana. I grew up surrounded by my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and my siblings. I am the oldest of four – and my three younger siblings have chosen professions off the family farm. I have wanted to farm since I was six years old however. After high school I went to college at The College of Wooster in Wooster, OH and earned a degree in history with a minor in political science. The four years at Wooster are still a highlight of my life. I returned to Montana after graduation and worked part time on the farm and part time for UPS. I loved my UPS career and as a result returned to school to earn my MBA (I actually have two) – Operations Management and Mediation/Dispute Resolution. My UPS career took my to Seattle for several years where I eventually took a job with Amazon Fresh (a subsidiary of Amazon that delivers groceries in select US cities).

In 2012 my dad called and asked what my dream job was. I did not hesitate to say it was still to be a farmer. He had been offered a new lease and needed to have someone return full time if he was going to take it on. This lease became my first lease. I returned home to Montana in July 2012. In the middle of the hottest and driest year on record. We harvested earlier than we ever have that year and harvest was interrupted almost every day by a new fire to fight. It was while fighting these fires that I got reacquainted with a local rancher (and the volunteer fire chief) named Travis. Fast forward 5 years – and we are married with two little boys. We continue to farm and ranch while I also serve on the board of the Montana Grain Growers Association (I am the current President) and on the National Association of Wheat Growers board. Farming and agriculture in general remains my passion and my dream job.

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Photo credit: Travis. Haying season 2013. Mac is the black lab and McGruff is my trusty and beloved chocolate lab.

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