Finding Peace Behind the Tractor Wheel
Spring is a time of new beginnings for farmers across the Upper Midwest. It was fitting that in April 2014 Matt Wyatt left his full-time job of 18 years as claims supervisor for Rain & Hail Agricultural Insurance to fully enjoy this new season of life.
Matt enjoys planting and harvesting crops without distractions including checking email frequently and fielding multiple phone calls related to crop insurance.
“I like knowing I’ll be home every night, and I like working with my dad,” says Matt, the fourth generation of Wyatts to farm near Hudson in Northeast Iowa.
Matt and Frank raise corn and soybeans. They also have an early wean-to-finish pork operation. In addition, Frank has been a Latham® dealer since 1995. Matt joined the dealership in 2015.
Being alone with his thoughts for a good part of the day took some getting used to as Matt transitioned from his corporate job to farming full time. Now he enjoys spending time outside where the birds sing and his phone isn’t chirping incessantly. He can concentrate on doing the day’s job and planning for the future.
“Even if they don’t decide to pursue farming, I want my children to have an appreciation for the process,” adds Matt. “I want them to experience a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day, knowing the work that was done is all a part of something bigger.”
Matt graduated in 1996 from Iowa State University (ISU) where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business with a minor in Agronomy. It’s also where he met his wife, Chelsea, who stays busy with her children’s school and community activities. The couple are the proud parents of two sons and a daughter: Cael, Aiden and Ava. Cael is a senior at ISU, majoring in Communication Studies. Aiden is a sophomore at ISU, majoring in Journalism. Ava is a high school junior, who is considering ISU for her future studies.
Active in the community, Chelsea organized the community soccer program and chaired the local parent-teacher association for several years. Matt helped coach the community’s youth wrestling program and served as a coach for Ava’s youth soccer team. Matt also has been president of the Gladbrook-Reinbeck School Board and is active in his local church. In addition, Matt and his father, Frank, are active in the Masonic Lodge.
In their free time, the Wyatts enjoy cheering on the Iowa State Cyclones and the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels. Matt enjoys golfing, and Chelsea enjoys taking family vacations to the beach.
In honor of the pork they produce and the tropical vacations they enjoy, the Wyatts are sharing a family favorite recipe.
“It’s rare that I make the same thing twice, but this recipe is great for tailgating and entertaining,” says Chelsea. “You can whip it up the night before, it feeds a lot of people and is always a hit!
- 2 packages King Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
- 2 Tubs Thin Deli Ham
- 1 package sliced Swiss cheese (6-8 slices cut into fourths)
Butter Sauce Ingredients:
- 1½ sticks of butter, melted
- 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
- Assemble ham and cheese sandwiches; place them snuggly in 9 X 13 baking dish.
- Pour melted butter mixture over the top of sandwiches. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
- Bake covered at 325° for 25 minutes covered and 5-10 more minutes uncovered.