Get to know your Nebraska farmers: Matt and Dawn Caldwell

Tagging the first calf born in 2011.

Clay County Farm Bureau member Dawn Caldwell grew up in Guide Rock, Neb., and their family farm, which was started by Matt’s grandparents, is still located in north-central Kansas just across the state line. She and her husband, Matt, live in Edgar which is 50 miles from the family farm, so he gets a lot of windshield time as does Dawn driving 35 miles to her job at the Aurora Co-op. The family farm consists of diversified dryland (non-irrigated) with the primary focus being a commercial Angus cattle herd.

Dawn’s graduating high school class was 8. Yes, 8. She majored in Animal Science at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, graduated on May 7, 1994, got her first job May 9th with Extension, was married to Matt on June 11 and after 5 months of marriage found she was expecting their first child.

Matt takes care of the day to day farm and livestock chores as well as running a fence business and welding shop near Edgar. Just like married life and children came on fast and furious, with the passing of his parents they became overnight farmers. They currently have 120 cows, a portion of which are Registered Red Angus and farm dryland milo, wheat, and soybeans, as well as hay for the cows.

Dawn is a Common Ground volunteer – she and other farm women write for the site to try to reach out to all kinds of consumers. She also has her own blog to communicate to those who are generations removed from the farm. Dawn says she’s just like any other working mom out there except her family raises food. Listen to more from Dawn on her blog here.

Kaydee on vaccination duty

The couple has two children:  Kaydee – 16 and Emmet – 14 who have taken a deep interest in cattle and even own their own herds. Dawn says they let the kids make breeding decisions and develop marketing plans. Listen more here.

She hopes the beef they’re raising goes to feed not only her neighbors and people in Nebraska but across the globe. Dawn tells us a little more about their commitment to feeding the world.

Continue to check back to the blog each Thursday to get to know more farmers and ranchers from across Nebraska as they share their everyday stories. And to read past farmer and rancher profiles, click here.

Learn more about ag families in Nebraska by visiting And while there, be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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