~ Riceland Meadows ~

Introducing Ralph Rice
by Ralph Rice

I live, love, and farm with my wife Connie on 73 acres in northeast Ohio. We have 7 children and 10 grandchildren. We raise Hereford cattle, feeder pigs, laying hens, and a small flock of Kathdin sheep. We sell meat direct to many city customers. We keep a few hives of bees, make maple syrup, and raise a large garden. We use our Percheron draft horses for much of our farm's power, but keep a small tractor for its PTO and to make up time lost due to my off­farm job. We raise some field corn each year, practice a form of intensive grazing, and make hay. I log a little each year with the horses. Logging keeps all of us in shape and is a chance to share the benefits of real horse power with the public. I have a never ending supply of farming techniques I want to trial, as well as other horse powered ventures I intend to try.

I am 43 years old. I was raised on fresh cow milk and homemade bread. I have churned butter, made ice cream, peeled apples, and shelled beans. I can drive horses, tractors, and some people crazy. I play a bit on the guitar, sing for family and friends, and enjoy good black coffee. I believe that nothing dries wet gloves better than heat from a woodstove and that bundled under a homemade quilt is the best way to sleep. I like baby animals, a good border collie dog, and hugs. I believe Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of mankind and that America is the best place in the world to live. I know nothing beats a good fence, a good neighbor, and a good name. I believe in telling the truth, keeping my word, and spanking my children. I like a firm handshake and a smile from a stranger. The sweetest music I ever heard is when a sleepy child wraps his arms around my neck and says," I love you, Daddy."

Ralph Rice's column "Reflections" appears regularly in Rural Heritage.

22 March 2003