The North Bend Eagle


 

Women in Agriculture
Kinley Kavan stands in front of a cattle herd she owns with her husband Roland.

Loving her land, her work

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 3/26/14

Kinley Kavan had a role model when she was growing up. Her parents divorced when she was 11 and her mother, Genevieve Beerbohm of Scribner, stayed on the farm and ran it.

Kinley started her own herd of milk cows with her brother, Bryan, while a junior in high school where she was involved in FFA and 4-H. Her mom steered her in other directions. So after graduation she went to college to play basketball and study nursing. But her heart was still on the farm.

She called her mom and asked her, “Why can’t I be like you, Mom? You farm on your own.”

KavansKinley and Roland Kavan work together on their farm south of Morse Bluff.

So Kinley followed her heart and came home and started raising hogs and a cow/calf herd. She also started working nights at Cargill in Schuyler, later working days at Hormel. She also got married, had two kids and got divorced. Thirteen years ago she married Roland Kavan of Morse Bluff, whom she had met at Hormel.

The couple moved to his family farm. They decided he would quit working at Hormel to farm full time while she continued working at Hormel for the benefits. She now has 22 years in.

The Kavans have 1,200 acres they farm with the Chvatals and 75 cow/calf herd. They bail hay, grow soybeans, alfalfa and corn.

Kinley still owns 80 acres near her family farm in Scribner, 40 acres of crops and 40 acres of pasture where they put all the cattle at a certain age.

Roland Kavan says his wife can do anything a man can do. She has a CDL license so she can haul grain, drives the combine, does livestock chores, bails hay and any other task on the farm.

“She can do it all,” Roland said. “I can trust her with anything. She works harder than any woman should.”

The Kavans have gone to farm meetings together, where Kinley, 45, might be the only women there.

“Farming is something that has to be in your heart in order to appreciate it,” Kinley said.

The only regret she has in the choices she’s made in life is that she wishes she’d taken some ag-business classes in college. When she was in high school, girls did not take ag classes, so she missed out there, too.

Kinley’s two children help out on the farm when they can. Daughter Chelsey, 23, works at a care center in Fremont. Son Tyler, 21, puts pivots together. Their future on the farm is undecided.

“It pretty much has to be in your blood,” she said.

For Kinley, it is in her blood.

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