Today Show features Eberspacher’s family farm in southeast Nebraska
December 28, 2018
When the Today Show aired a video sharing a glimpse into the life of one of the farmers who feed the nation, it was Lauren Eberspacher's home and family farm in Nebraska viewers saw.
Eberspacher is an author, blogger, speaker, mom and farm wife who started her blog, From Blacktop to Dirt Road, when she and her husband, Eric, a fifth-generation farmer, were returning to his family farm near Lincoln. Raised near Kansas City, Eberspacher's first experience on a farm was when she began dating her husband and she is now writing from the farm and reaching women across the country.
Eberspacher said she has been in love with and learning about farming and agriculture since that first trip to Nebraska and values it deeply as a truly family business that is truly rooted in the heart of the people involved.
"That's maybe something you hear a lot talking with farm families, especially those who work solely with their family on the farm, that there's a deep respect for the land, there's a deep respect for the amount of work that goes into our job as farmers and it really goes back to the belief in the work we do. We believe in the heart of the country and we believe in the work we do, and we love being able to do it together," she said.
She said she's her husband's right-hand woman, doing the things that many farm wives do to make it possible for their husbands to do their jobs, whether that is bringing lunch to the field or moving machinery.
The Eberspachers farm about 1,500 acres made up of about equal parts corn and soybeans. They also rent grass to local cattle producers, offering diversification in what has been a difficult year for the state's soybean growers.
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As many blogs do, hers started as a way to document their move back to the farm and the progress of the house Eric and his father built for the family. It has now turned into more, she said, as writing is now her full-time job. She doesn't take lightly the importance of any of her responsibilities and said she relishes the chance to give encouragement from the perspective of faith to her readers.
"Really being able to specifically encourage women to be who God longs for them to be through the lens of what the Bible says about them and through the plan God has for them as moms and wives and really be able to empower them with something that will really change their life is the real mission behind the blog," she said.
Her first book, a 31-day devotional titled "Midnight Lullabies: Moments of Peace for Moms," will be released April 9. She said it walks through the emotions of motherhood and was inspired by moms who reached out to her to express loneliness, discontent with their bodies, struggles in their marriages, but weren't armed with tangible tools.
Eberspacher said the No. 1 cry she hears from farm wives and mothers is the challenge of loneliness and the mental load carried during the lonely seasons, often planting and harvest. Her writing career has allowed her to contribute to the farm but also has allowed Eric to be a part of her career. He accompanies her to speaking engagements and even entertains questions from women attending the appearances. She said she wants farm and ranch women to know that whatever it is they're going through — the business of the holidays, the stress of the business — they have the strength inside of them to endure whatever it is they're going through as God's grace is sufficient.
The video, shot over several days, was the first time Eberspacher said the film and camera crew were on a farm or witnessed a Nebraska sunrise over fields. A member of the Today Show Parenting Team for about a year and a half, Eberspacher sat next to one of the producers of the show at the Iris Awards, an award she said is like the Academy Awards for bloggers. The two discovered they both had small town, farm roots and knew showcasing farming was something they had to do. The goal was to showcase the heart of farming and to show the country the sacrifices a farm family makes from the perspective of a farm wife and mom.
Over the four days of filming, she said she and her family showed the crew the fields and machinery, explained harvest and the makings of good crops, and showed them the cattle out on the pastures. Though the video is only 8 minutes, Eberspacher said one day's conversation was five hours, making it interesting to see what portions of the conversation and visit were featured in the video.
"I thought they did a beautiful job," she said. "They captured our family well, they captured harvest well, and just the overall sense of family that lots of ag families have and the sense of purpose ag families have. The sacrifice you put in to see your harvest come to fruition and the hours you put in away from your family so you can feed the rest of the country."
She said it was an honor to show the rest of the country their view from the farm and southeast Nebraska, the place they think is the most beautiful place in the country. ❖
— Gabel is an assistant editor and reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 392-4410.