It's a wonderful thing to watch your friends succeed.

I first met Emma Waterworth when we were both freshmen at UW-River Falls. At first glance, we looked like polar opposites: she was quiet, strong, and steady, and I was more like a human Golden Retriever. I'm a hugger, and she is most definitely not. We connected over our mutual love of farming and small town America, as well as our mutual dislike of the same people. Through the years we had several classes together and helped each other out when we needed it, but got closer after college when we were both in the trenches trying to balance a farm and a full-time job. When COVID-19 struck, we started writing letters to each other (which has been a lot of fun!) and talked about doing a photo session to promote her farm, which she named Sleepy Heifer Farm.

Sleepy Heifer Farm is an offshoot of Emma's family farm near Fall River, Wisconsin, where her dad and uncle raise feeder steers and cash crops. She and her husband, Seth, live in the house that her grandparents called home and a couple field roads south and west of the house she grew up in, so her roots are firmly anchored in the land that raised her. Emma is still very invested in the family farm while simultaneously striking out on her own with flowers, eggs, and beef.

With COVID wreaking havoc on the meat processing sector and leaving store shelves empty, a renewed interest in local food has demand for Emma's products shooting through the roof and into the stratosphere. She's making plans to build a website while planting more flowers (450 chrysanthemums this year!), growing her flock of Easter eggers (chickens that lay more colors of eggs than just brown and white), and building her herd of Black Angus and British White Park beef cattle. I'm extremely proud of her for following her dreams and working hard to turn them into reality while keeping her feet firmly planted on the ground.