Susan Tucker loved growing up on her family’s farm, but never expected to work it. Her brother went into agriculture and worked the land their great-great-great grandfather earned for his service in the Mexican-American War, and Susan headed off to college and eventually life in the corporate world. But in 2008, after her brother was killed in an accident on the farm, she faced a dilemma. Should she leave the world she knew to make sure the farm that had been in her family for generations continued to thrive?
“I just said you know I don't know about this. I've been gone from the farm for 25 years,” Susan said. “But then I thought well, you know what, I do know about the financial things, and I do know about the legal things, and I do know about software and computer things.”
She and her nephew took over operation of the farm. In the beginning, it was a mess. “We didn't know anything. But now we have a premier cattle herd,” Susan said. “We went to classes about grazing, and about genetics and raising cattle and how do you do it. And if there was a class to go to or there was software to know, or there was a white paper to read on it, I did. I mean, I just read everything.”
It’s no surprise that Susan, now a farmer-lawyer-accountant who is constantly in motion, uses Starbucks as something of a retreat. She heads to her local store frequently with her husband, Bob Tucker, her iPad and whatever book she’s reading to take breaks, because if she weren’t at Starbucks, she’d be working with clients or filing paperwork or taking a class online or cleaning the floors or … the list goes on, and is very, very long. “I am doing something all the time,” she said.
– Jennifer Warnick