ILLINOIS FARM COUPLES: JIM AND NANCY RAPP

They say February is the season for love … and we’re celebrating by giving you a glimpse of five Illinois farm couples throughout the week!  These couples practice their love for each other and the land every day on their farms.  Get to know them and the work they love to do!

farm wedding, valentine's day, illinois farm familiesJim and Nancy Rapp were “re-rapped” (reunited in marriage) on Sept 16th 2012.  Their story actually began over 35 years ago when they met at a small restaurant where Nancy was working while she was going to  school to earn a nursing degree and Jim was a young, eager farmer.  They fell in love and were married June 3, 1978.

They were very busy for the next several  years raising 3 children, a daughter, Amy and two sons, Nick and Ben.  Sadly, the marriage ended after 18 years.  Jim and Nancy always maintained a good relationship by being together with the children for all significant events and holidays.

In 2012 the communication between Jim and Nancy became more frequent with Jim making more phone calls “just to talk.” During one of those phone calls, Jim suddenly invited Nancy to join him in Portland, OR in July for a little vacation while he was attending an ag meeting.  She accepted the invitation.  While in Portland, Jim and Nancy enjoyed the time they shared while dining, shopping and sight-seeing together.  After several days, Nancy confronted Jim by asking him “what is going on?”  They were having a wonderful time together.  He had been very thoughtful, kind and generous. Jim responded by saying that he just wanted to be with her. Of course, that just brought Nancy to tears and they  hugged each other. That was when their relationship changed and they reconnected by daily phone calls after their trip.

In September, Nancy returned to Illinois  to enjoy the Homestead Festival in Princeton with family and friends. On the first evening in town, Jim and Nancy got together, when Jim popped the big question – “Would you marry me again?” – and Nancy replied, “Of course I will.”   They both decided to keep their relationship a secret until they could tell the whole family  when they were all together during the Festival weekend. They were really going to shock them by telling them that they were planning on tying the knot again.

Illinois farm family

To  surprise the family, Nancy planned to get the children and grandchildren together for family pictures. When Jim walked in for the family pictures, Nancy announced that she wanted Jim to be in the picture – because he was in the picture again.  Everyone had a confused look on their face until Jim walked over to Nancy and presented her with a beautiful engagement ring. The room exploded with happy tears, shouts of joy and many hugs.

The wedding was planned for one week later at the family home with a very  happy family present. Two months later Jim and Nancy celebrated their happy reunion with their family and friends for a “Re-Rapped Celebration.  The celebration was a time for Jim and Nancy to show their appreciation to all their family and friends for their love, caring and support of their reunion.

Nick and Ben have joined their father in the farming operation and now their family is a true “farm family.”

The Lord truly works in mysterious ways and in His own time.

This wonderful story of love submitted by Nancy Rapp.  THANK YOU NANCY!

ILLINOIS FARM COUPLES: BART AND GLENNA TAYLOR

illinois farm couple, valentines love

Bart and Glenna were high school sweethearts.  They dated for six years and were married while Glenna was in college. During those six years, they had a lonnnnng time to think about what month they might get married.

Both coming from farm families, they knew to avoid planning a wedding around spring planting, summer spraying/mowing/baling or fall harvest; so, they planned a winter wedding.  Bart suggested February and the Saturday in February that worked happened to be the twelfth.  Glenna says she assumed that putting their anniversary so close to Valentine’s Day would be an easy way for Bart to remember their special day and agreed to the date.

A Valentine wedding would be romantic right?  And, it was.  Glenna imagined the romantic anniversaries that they would celebrate over their lives….Paris, Rome, Venice….

Fast forward 19 years:  February 12th-17th, 2013, Bart and Glenna will be on their yearly anniversary trip….to the National Farm Machinery Show and Championship Tractor Pulls in Louisville, KY.  And, as per every year, Glenna will tear up as Lee Greenwood sings “God Bless the USA” to a video montage of farm life, not because she is sad to be celebrating her anniversary at the NFMS and tractor pulls but because she feels so blessed to be celebrating her anniversary and way of life with her husband and best friend.

Glenna said, “I wouldn’t trade our anniversary week tradition for anything.  It’s so perfect; it’s like it was planned.  Hmmm……”

ILLINOIS FARM COUPLES: JUSTIN AND RACHEL DURDAN

They say February is the season for love … and we’re celebrating by giving you a glimpse of five Illinois farm couples throughout the week!  These couples practice their love for each other and the land every day on their farms.  Get to know them and the work they love to do!

illinois farmers, love, valentines day, farm families

Justin and Rachel Durdan were married on March 19, 2010.  They have two kids, Ella and Ian, and enjoy travelling together.  In fact, they have just enjoyed a recent visit to Mexico!

The couple live in LaSalle County, IL where Justin has farmed since he was a little boy and finally joined the partnership in 2004.

 

ILLINOIS FARM COUPLES: BILL & JILL BELL

They say February is the season for love … and we’re celebrating by giving you a glimpse of five Illinois farm couples throughout the week!  These couples practice their love for each other and the land every day on their farms.  Get to know them and the work they love to do!

Bill & Jill Bell

Bill & Jill (Hood) Bell married 2-4-67 during an ice storm. Jill is a farmer’s daughter and was very lucky to marry a farmer.  They met in High School and have been farming ever since.

Congratulations on 46 years together!

ILLINOIS FARM COUPLES: BILL AND SANDY CHRIST

They say February is the season for love … and we’re celebrating by giving you a glimpse of five Illinois farm couples throughout the week!  These couples practice their love for each other and the land every day on their farms.  Get to know them and the work they love to do!

Illinois farm family in a wheat field

Sandy and Bill met over the salad bar at their little local restaraunt many years ago. It was Mother’s Day, so they were both celebrating with their families who knew each other and were friends. Actually Bill and Sandy went to school together as kids, but had never met. Sandy was dis-interested, as she thought Bill’s younger sister was his girlfriend! Later, Bill had a hog roast out at one of the farms for all his college friends, and that was their first date. The rest is history!

Bill and Sandy will be married 31 years in July.

“Wow, does time go by fast, when your having fun!!!!!” Bill said.

ILLINOIS FARM COUPLES: KENT AND SARA KLEINSCHMIDT

Illinois farm couples, farmers, loveKent and Sara Kleinschmidt were high school sweethearts.  They started dating in the spring of 1970 and got married on July 13, 1974.  They have two grown sons, two lovely daughters in law, and four grandchildren.  Both sons continue a career in agriculture, with one still living on the farm and helping Kent out as the need arises.

Kent and Sara enjoy their family and family activities, traveling together, and the life they have built on the farm.

Illinois farm family

ILLINOIS FARM COUPLES: DAVE AND JILL CAIN

They say February is the season for love … and we’re celebrating by giving you a glimpse of five Illinois farm couples throughout the week!  These couples practice their love for each other and the land every day on their farms.  Get to know them and the work they love to do!

illinois farm weddings, corn, family

Jill and Dave Cain were married on August 25, 2012.  Their newlywed life has been interesting as the first year of their marriage they lived through a historic drought that caused many farm families to have to leave the farm!

Jill farms with her dad and works for BASF while Dave works for his family trucking company.  They live only a few miles from both of their parents and they enjoy all the time they get to spend with their families.  Right now, they are adding more suffering to their plate with a house renovation project, but they look forward to a nicer home with enough room for them to start a family.

In the past, Jill has been active with the Illinois Corn Growers Association and the Champaign County Farm Bureau, but for now she is content to put her time into the farm and her home with her new husband at her side.

ILLINOIS FARM COUPLES: RICHARD AND JANICE GATES

They say February is the season for love … and we’re celebrating by giving you a glimpse of five Illinois farm couples throughout the week!  These couples practice their love for each other and the land every day on their farms.  Get to know them and the work they love to do!

50 years ago, vintage wedding dress, 1963

Richard and Janice Gates will celebrated 50 years together on February 10. They met at a District Youth meeting while Juniors in High School and were married 4 years later. Richard spent his life farming with his father (and later with his son) and Janice’s career was as an employee with the US Department of Agriculture local office. In the past 50 years, they have enjoyed their three children and many grandchildren.

tourism, travel, vacation
Richard and Janice in Ireland in 2012.

As the Gates were raising their family, they all worked on the farm. Janice says that her daughters were always great at cultivating soybeans and their son joined the farm when he became an adult. The Gates like to travel and enjoyed a vacation to Ireland in 2012. They are active in the church, Farm Bureau, Kiwanis Club and Illinois Corn Growers Association.

VALENTINE’S DAY FARM COUPLES

Buhrow CollageCelebrate Valentine’s Day with IL Corn next week as we feature farm couples from all over the state and their stories of love!

Pictured is Craig and Margie Buhrow, married on June 18, 1972, who love to support the fighting Illini of the University of Illinois!  They were both farm kids, growing up about 30 miles away from each other, but had never met until a blind date during their freshman year at college.  Craig and Margie will celebrate 41 years this summer!