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 on 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 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……”


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.