For the Ryan Family, the only thing valued more than each other is the land on which their roots run deep.
“It’s like an old Irish thing, ‘if you’ve got your land, you’ve got everything’, ya know?” said Loretta Ryan.
Loretta and her brother John grew up on the family farm in Montgomery, IN, but they are the fifth generation to live on the land.
Their great-great-grandfather Michael purchased the land on January 14th, 1867. Ever since, Ryans have tended to business there – whether it be dairy products, a hog operation, or corn and soybean crops, which is what grows there now.
And the Ryans love their jobs.
“I like farming it, even after all these years,” said John Ryan. “And the boys wanted to farm it too, so, it’s a small farm, but we like farming it.”
This continued commitment earned the Ryans a Hoosier Homestead Award from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture – a recognition Loretta calls an honor.
“I pride myself on being a geneologist,” said Loretta. “And for me, this is the greatest thing.”
But even without the award, the family knows what the farm means to them.
“I don’t live here anymore,” said Loretta. “But when I pull up, it’s like that John Denver song ‘this old farm feels like a long lost friend’.”
John and his wife Rosa currently live on the land, where they raised the sixth generation of Ryan children to grow up there, and now have 15 grandchildren to call their own.
For a full list of the Hoosier Homestead Award recipients, click here.