Parker Family Farms
When my friends kidnapped me one random weekend for an Ohio State/Wisconsin football game my last year of vet school, the last thing I was thinking of was meeting my future husband and the father of our amazing new daughter. I mean, come on. Vet school is like drinking through a firehose and ESPN was hosting Game Day. I was just so happy to be with friends and play corn hole. But there he was, standing under a tent with a broken corner near their white rental van. Every year, Ben and his buddies pick an away Ohio State game to travel to. Their ultimate goal is to watch OSU play in every Big Ten stadium. They technically only have Iowa left, but I’m sure they will start all over once they do it.
Here’s a little more backstory...
Ben went to Eastern Brown High School in Brown County and was an active member of 4-H. He then graduated from OSU with a degree in Construction Systems Management in Agricultural Business. He worked in Columbus for a great company, but his heart lied at home on the farm. His family has farmed dating back to his great-great-grandparents, so it’s basically in his DNA. He decided to leave Columbus and come home to farm with his parents (the best in-laws and grandparents ever).
I myself grew up in Northern Ohio a little differently. I grew up in a zoo. Literally, a zoo. Lions, tigers, bears (O my)! I had my heart on becoming a veterinarian since I was 5. I was also an avid member of 4-H. I attended Canton Central Catholic High School in Stark County then graduated from Lake Erie College with a degree in biology and played volleyball. I started to travel around the world. After vet school, my plan was either move back to Australia, where I had studied abroad for a time, or join the Peace Corp. Fortunately, I never had to make that decision. God sent me a game changer in the middle of UW’s parking lot at a tailgate.
I attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. It’s located in the Caribbean on a small island named St. Kitts and is my second home. If you’ve been on a cruise down there, you’ve most likely stopped in Port Zante or passed it by. Your last year, you can either go back to the states to finish up your clinical rotation, or head to another country if you choose. I decided I wanted to go back to America for a while and I was placed at the University of Wisconsin --home of the best cheese on the planet.
And the rest was history…
So there we were, standing in the middle of a parking lot. We barely talked that much to be honest. We were just there to have fun with our friends. But, as most happy country songs convey, “You can’t stop love.” After a lot of driving, I finally moved to Brown County after graduating. I’d never even heard of Brown County until I met Ben. Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else. We got married October 28, 2017 in our friend’s barn in Bolivar and had our first child on April 10, 2019. And speaking of songs, Ben is also a very talented musician. He occasionally sings and plays guitar at church, the Ohio Veterans’ Home and local venues around Southern Ohio. I tell him all the time he shouldn’t have married me and went to Nashville. He says his happiness is with us (me and our daughter Elsie Mae) and the cows. So here we are. It’s ironic the way things play out. We both enjoy traveling, but there definitely is no place like Ohio. There is truly is no place like home.