The Flint Family
6 Generations of Livestock Farming
Pictured Left To Right
Chuck Flint, Red Farley, Bruce Bawer and Earl "Hap" Maier
"Chuck Flint's cattle that topped the market in Chicago late 1960's."
Livestock farming started in the Flint family with the hands of my Great-Great Grandpa Peter Flint. In the year of 1927 his son, my Great Grandpa George Flint started his own dairy farm becoming the 2nd generation to own livestock in the Flint family. Unfortunately I never got to meet either of these two who started this lifestyle I truly enjoy. Luckily for me I've had many years with my Grandfather Chuck Flint who has been a huge influence in the success of my career. As the 3rd generation in our farming family you could say my Grandpa had all the knowledge and experience to become a very successful grain and livestock farmer. In 1954 he started feeding his own beef cattle. Thankfully years later, my father Ron Flint worked along side my grandfather on his farm gaining the knowledge of what it takes to raise livestock. Don't be fooled I can’t give all my credit to just the men in my family, I come from generations of hardworking woman as well. My Grandma Nadine Flint is the true definition of a farmer's wife. From working in the fields to the most delicious home cooked meals even driving straight trucks delivering grain to the elevator there was nothing that woman didn't do on the farm. She was the reason I grew up believing a woman is just as important on a farm as a man. Not only was my Grandma a huge influence of "females in farming" so was my Mother, Rhonda Flint. I can say without hesitation my mother is the hardest working woman I have ever met and that is one of the biggest reasons I followed in her footsteps. All my life I have watched my Mom and told myself if I am half the woman she is then I’d consider my life a successful one. Farming to me is more than just a career it’s a way of life. I am one of the 5th generation in the Flint family to carrying on feeding livestock and I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for this amazing foundation of hardworking farmers before me. I am beyond blessed to have farming in my blood and passed on to me but it’s an even better feeling passing this lifestyle on to my son Owen and daughter Jillian.
Meet my parents Ron and Rhonda Flint.
As a young farming couple my parents married on November 3rd, 1984. Over the next 9 years they would grow their family with 4 girls; Lynette, Amy, Jenny and Kim. In 1989 my parents bought the family farm where my meat store resides. This would be the place we called home for most of my life. The year of 1993 was a huge turning point for my parents as farmers. My parents decided to change their career paths, ending their time working for my grandparents and starting a new beginning for themselves. My father went on to hauling livestock and as of today owns his own trucking business. My mother started working for our neighbor Ron Ness on his hog farm for many years. She then went to work for the local grain elevator, as a secretary dealing mainly with feed rations for the local hog farmers. At an early age my parents taught us girls all about agriculture. From helping in the field’s farming to later on raising our own hogs and cattle, we got to see what farm life was all about. My parents got us girls involved in 4-H, where we all showed cattle at the local fair. Over the years we had everything from feeder cattle to cows and calves. We farrowed pigs and finished them right here on the farm. We also had lots of chickens. I’ll always remember collecting the eggs which we sold right off the farm to lots of friends, family and neighbors. We learned a lot about farm life from raising livestock and gaining all the knowledge we could from our parents. It wasn’t uncommon for us girls to join Mom at work on the hog farm or to take a ride in the semi hauling hogs and cattle with my Dad. I would say these were the days we learned the most about hard work. My sisters and I owe everything to my parents when it comes to agriculture since they made sure it was a vital part of our life. As of today each one of us girls are involved in farming or livestock in some sort of way, thanks to my parents. Through all my lifetime I have watched my parents work extremely hard for what they have. Even today I could say no different, they are still working full time jobs and using every minute of their spare time to care for their large cow-calf herd on their farm in Maple Park. Thanks to all their hard work I can buy all my calves from the hands of the most caring people I know giving me the chance to say this is a “family owned business.” I am forever grateful of these two wonderful people that taught us all about farming and this way of life. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them!
Meet the Owners: Jenny, Jared, Owen & Jillian
I am Jenny the Owner of Family Farm Meats. My farming career all began the summer of my junior year when I started working for Eldon Gould on his hog farm in Maple Park. From that point forward I knew this is what I wanted to do the rest of my life. Shortly into my senior year of high school I started a couple hours after school working for Pitstick Pork in Shabbona. As graduation was approaching I had to face the decision of college or taking the offer of a full time position on the hog farm. With no hesitation I took the job and started as a farrowing house manager at the young age of 18. Throughout almost 7 years at the hog farm I did everything from farrowing pigs to breeding sows. I also ran the feed mill grinding feed for thousands of hogs a day. I learned a lot about the care and wellness of pigs and what it took to keep them healthy. It was here that I truly found my love for livestock and knew this was what I was most passionate about. On July 27th, 2012 I bought my parents family farm. I knew someday I wanted to own livestock and eventually raise my future children the way I grew up. Well a little over a year later I was proud to announce I was expecting a little boy that following May. I wrapped up my time on the hog farm leaving there for the last time in February. It was a bitter sweet moment for me I was sad to be leaving a job I truly enjoyed but I was excited to see where my future would take me. On May 24th, 2014 I gave birth to the most beautiful 8lb 3oz baby boy, Owen. Little did I know that day that I had gained the most wonderful farm-hand a mom could ask for. He was immediately introduce to the farm life as we were getting things geared up for opening day of our very own meat store. In a very short period of time, I took a chance of running my own business as a young new mom and giving me the opportunity to work from home to raise my child. On July 21st, 2014 we had our opening day for the store. Since then we have met some wonderful people and gained some pretty amazing friends along the way. Then in 2017, Owen and I officially welcomed another helping hand to the farm, my boyfriend Jared. Jared Bickford has been a long time friend of mine and quickly became a huge asset to our family and our farm. He works a full-time job as an electrician for his father's company, Bickford Electric out of Big Rock, Illinois. When he's not busy being an electrician or doing heating and air jobs, he can be found here feeding the livestock, repairing equipment and teaching Owen some of life's valuable lessons. On August 18th, 2021 Jared and I welcomed our Baby Girl to the family, Jillian Rhonda Bickford. She has been an absolute blessing to the farm, family and especially her big brother Owen. We truly are enjoying being parents and watching the kids join in on all the hard work. This business has changed my life and really opened my eyes to what I am capable of. I’ve learned that with hard work and a little guts you can go a long way. As of today our farm continues to grow and Owen and Jillian are right there beside us for everything we do. One things for sure, no matter where this life takes me, I beyond grateful for this farm and the tradition I am passing on to Owen and Jillian!
The Flint Girls
"Females in Farming"
Well if you personally know me you know I couldn't go without mentioning these three ladies. Anytime I tell people that I have three sisters the comment "your poor father" quickly follows. Growing up together definitely wasn't the easiest and it wasn't till our older years that we finally figured out that we actually do like each other. We may not have always seen things from the same perspective but one thing is for sure, no matter what we went through in life we all had each other’s backs. Personally for me, these three are my support team and I wouldn’t have a clue what to do without them. Each one of these girls brings something different to the table making each one of them very important to my life and business. I’ll start with my oldest sister Lynette Piller. Lynette lives in Mendota with her husband Nick and their three kids Hunter, Brayden and Kennedy. Lynette currently runs her own day care and helps her husband on his family farm. I look at her as the “super mom” sister, she will go all day watching kids and making a home cooked meal to running a tractor in the field at night. I swear there is nothing she can’t do, she is a spitting image of my mom! She gives me strength to push through the hard days, I say if she can handle all she does I have nothing to complain about! I can’t forget to mention her three children that do a little extra work for me as they are raising the hogs for my meat store. It’s a neat feeling watching them raise the pigs and enjoying it as much as I do. Next, is my second oldest sister Amy Schoger. Amy currently works alongside her husband Carl on his family farm in Big Rock as well as being a Mother to their son Grant. Here she can be found helping with the book work on the farm or behind the wheel of a massive quadtrac tractor working ground. I would definitely say Amy is my “go-to” sister when I need advice. Most would say Amy is the girly girl of the family. She has the best advice when it comes to how things should look and how they should be said. She has helped me in more ways than one with the business and is always there when I need anything. Lastly, is my youngest sister Kim Hambly. Kim lives in Paw Paw with her husband Mark, their son Easton and daughter Emily. Kim is currently a retail service specialist for Old Second Bank. One of the hats she wears for me is my financial advisor. Kim may be my younger sister but I sure do look up to her in many ways. She is a young mom with an awesome job she worked very hard to get. On her time off she enjoys taking her kids for rides on their horse Wendy. Somehow with her busy schedule she always manages to squeeze in time to help with caring with the cow herd and always being there when we need her. I would definitely say Kim is the “dedicated” sister. When Kim is asked of something, she will be there and does her work to the fullest. I know with Kim if I need anything she will do it and I never have to worry that it’s done wrong. I’ve watch her work her way through life moving up the ladder quickly due to hard work. I can honestly say I am proud to call these girls my sisters and I’m so lucky to have all three of their different personalities to help me along. As I said before, my farm and business wouldn’t be where it is today without the support from these three ladies and their families.
My oldest sister working ground on the Piller farm
My second oldest sister working ground on the Schoger Farm
Me feeding cattle for the meat store
My youngest sister with her horse Wendy after placing 3rd at the Fox Valley Saddle Association Mini event