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Love of ag trumps tractor affiliations for Buralls
By CARYL VELISEK
(Feb. 17, 2015) Jarrod and Becky Burall of Frederick County met at a harvest party held at a local farm and the conversation eventually came around to to tractors: Becky is an International Tractor person and Jared is a John Deere enthusiast.
After the couple married, “we often jokingly say we should have signed a pre-nuptual agreement stating that for every green tractor Jarrod gets, I get a red one.”
The equipment preferences even bled through as they competed in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers and Ranchers program. Jarrod wore a green shirt and Becky wore red.
But the couple doesn’t differ much when it comes to having and sharing a passion for agriculture.
In addition to running their own farm, Jarrod is the full-time crops manager at Coldsprings Farm in Carroll County and also does custom planting. Becky is a registered nurse at Frederick Memorial Hospital and also works part time at her family’s 1,100-acre farm.
Together, Jarrod and Becky farm about 100 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat and assist their 8- year-old son, Tyler, with his 4-H dairy cattle and pig projects.
“We have a five year plan,” Jarrod said, “to buy a farm of our own. And we’d like to increase our rented property and improve our farm skills. We have to adjust our off-farm occupations to fit the needs of farming.”
The AFBF’s Excellence in Agriculture program recognizes couples and individuals who are involved in agriculture but don’t earn the majority of their income from their own farm operation.
The Buralls represented Maryland in the program last month during AFBF’s annual convention in San Diego.
In their 20-minute presentation for competition, the Buralls discussed three issues affecting agriculture today: Political challenges, heightened risks, and a disconnection between agriculture and the general population.
They addressed the health insurance tax, proposed regulation on phosphorus use, farming in close proximity to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. managing increasing costs and making sound financial decisions.
Becky noted that the average Marylander is three generations removed from the farm.
“Telling our story is a lifelong challenge for us but when it’s a passion, it’s not truly a challenge,” she said. “We try to show the public the transition to modern day farming. That we are stewards of the land and use all the modern tools available to help us improve our knowledge and our skills and we try to get others involved in our organization. We also help develop youth involvement, to grow young farmers.”
Both Jarrod and Becky serve in several farm groups and Jarrod is co-chair of the Frederic County Young Farmers.
They attend national conferences and Becky volunteers at a safety camp for 8 to 13 year olds and is in the Grange. Both grew up in 4-H and Jarrod was also an FFA member.
“We continue to increase our knowledge, attend local and national conferences and try to get others involved in the organizations that support agriculture and to grow in our activities,” she added.