No one can understand what it means to live “out in the country” or in a remote area like Cherry County, say Farm Bureau members Eric and Tanya Storer. That’s because Rocking J Ranch is nestled in the Nebraska Sandhills where some neighbors drive their elementary students one hour each way to school.
Tanya, youngest of four, met Eric, family of five boys, when she was in high school and the couple later started dating and was married in 1989. Tanya attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earned her degree in Consumer Science and Education with a Family Consumer Science teaching endorsement. Eric attended the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis and later finished his education at UNL. After graduation, and knowing Eric had four brothers to compete with when it came to taking over the family farm, they moved back to the Whitman area to join Tanya’s family business.
For 21 years they’ve lived on the “south ranch” and have been involved in value-based cattle marketing programs. Tanya’s dad was a pioneer in the beef industry: he was one of the first to bring the Chianina breed to the United States – they are larger in frame and originated in Italy. The ranch currently markets bulls that still have a small part of the Chianina genetics. For more than 30 years, they’ve sold club calves and most recently they’ve begun embryo work.d Tanya says that just means having babies for other people. She explains a little more about diversity on their ranch.
Tanya has seen a lot of road time in order to get her children to school (100 miles round trip) and because some of her neighbors face even longer travel when it comes to the nearest elementary school, her true passion lies in education. For families trying to keep a ranch alive and a marriage intact, along with kids’ education, living in town during the school week or a boarding school are the only other options instead of driving each day. Tanya says this passion keeps her going.
The couple has three children: Braden – 19, Hailey – 17 and Emmet – 14.
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