My roots run deep in agriculture coming from several generations of farmers. So I guess it was my destiny to end up where I am today with a vineyard, garden, pigs and chickens and pantry full of canned goods.
I grew up on a farm in Iowa where our family raised livestock and grain crops. The youngest of three girls I was my Dad’s shadow helping with chores, tagging along to the local feed store or riding in the back of the pick up truck to check on the cows. My Mom was his partner in all things and both taught me much about the importance of hard work, caring for that which feeds you, taking pride in a job well done and independence.
Anyone who grew up in the rural Midwest in the ‘60’s and 70’s knows about “walking the beans” the task of pulling weeds out between the endless rows of soybeans. You would start early in the morning when the air was cool and the plants were moist with dew. By quitting time the sun was beating down hard, your legs heavy from the muddy shoes and your hands were scratched and sore. But there was also a satisfaction in seeing that 80 acre field clean of weeds knowing that we were going to get a better price per bushel at harvest. It’s that “walk the beans” ethos that I have carried with me throughout life.
I went on to get a Master’s of Science in Agriculture and worked for the Missouri Department of Agriculture. That was the beginning of many job opportunities that allowed me to see the world and experience food, wine and coffee from other cultures. After 30 years in tourism, wine and economic development I made the decision in 2012 to strike out on my own hence the beginning of Pollard Per Se. Coffee roaster, wine grape grower, winery owner and weed puller extraordinaire.