Meet the Cornette Family
This is the story sbout Jim and Barb Cornette who have volunteered for the Rural Life Day committee because to them it is important to express their appreciation to farmers. “We are retired farmers, and we know how hard it is for those working to find time for these committees. And because there are so few farmers left in our parishes we need to express our appreciation to them and our thankfulness for our blessings” said Barb.
Their story as farmers began when in 1972, Jim purchased a 75-acre farm with 30 cows. Jim was 22 years old, and he already knew his path in life. Jim and Barb got married in 1973, and the farm and family began to grow. They remember the days of eating picnic lunches in the pick up truck as a family when Jim took a break from spring fieldwork.
Their life together was blessed and happy, but tragedy hit in the form of a barn fire on September 12, 1995. It was one month after Jim was diagnosed with a degenerative muscle disease, Pompe. As you can imagine those times were tough for the Cornette family, however, they found strength in God and in their family. “We used to gather as a family at the dinner table to discuss the options, we prayed for the wisdom to make those decisions. Barb often went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. We always went to Sunday Mass as a family, and we hoped that our kids would follow by example” remembered Jim.
"We knew that our life was in the rural community and not even a fire was going to take us away from what God called us to be farmers. We had a family meeting with our three sons Paul, Tom, and Ryan. We decided to rebuild a milking parlor and free stall barn as most of the milking herd had survived. The plan was to hire help while the three sons were growing up and letting them decide on their own futures. We knew that God was there by our side and we knew that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. As it turned out, all three of our sons have returned to the farm. The two oldest having purchased the farm in 2016. They expanded the operation with a robotic milking barn for 350 cows, and our youngest son works for his brothers” stated Barb.
Jim shared with us that when Paul married Amy, even step-grandsons Riley and Brogan pitched in on the farm despite not having any background. Daughter-in-law Amanda, who is married to Tom, is a graphic design artist and is very involved in promoting the dairy. Ryan, our youngest son, lived in Minnesota after receiving a degree in television production; after a few years, he returned to the farm.
Being a part of nature, smelling that spring ground being turned over the fresh cut hay brings you as close to God as any prayer.