Trading Careers for Life on the Farm


What causes a family of successful professionals to walk away from their careers and give farming a try? We found out after spending the day on Grandpa's Farm.

In a reversal of the modern-day American dream, the Nelson family walked away from successful careers to resurrect a 150 acre farm in northern Pottawattamie County.

Kim Nelson grew up there. His grandfather bought it in the 1960s.

Kim said, “It was always kind of a dream to come back here."

Kim moved away and the farm remained in the family but was rented out. His son-in-law, Dustin Koyle, suggested the family buy out Kim's siblings.

Dustin said, “Once it's gone, it's gone and there's no getting it back."

Geography was a problem. They all lived in New Mexico.

Kim said, "When he brought it up and challenged everybody, 'hey, let’s think about doing this,' and we all started thinking about it and within a couple of months everybody came back and said, 'hey we're on board. Let’s do it.'"

Now the former pastor and medical tech embarks on the new career path of running Grandpa's Farm. It's a family affair. Three generations of Nelsons live there, working the land, tending to a small herd of sheep, about a dozen cattle and some free range chickens.

Kim’s wife Bonny Nelson said, "It was sad for all of us to think that this might not stay in the family. For us to be able to have this opportunity is a super blessing."

The Nelsons want to tap into the popularity of the Omaha Farmers Market. Daughter Kara says the connections there can help this field of dreams survive and thrive.

She said, “We're hoping that it will provide lifetime clients."

These modern day homesteaders hope to make Grandpa's Farm bigger and better than before.

The Nelsons have already had some inquiries thanks to their grandpa’s farm Web site.

This is their first time at the Farmers Market.


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