Warm weather means Joy Bonin can look through the patio window and take in her favorite view, watching black cattle grazing in the green pasture. Her husband, Dave, jokingly calls their cows and calves “lawn ornaments” because she comments so often about what a pretty picture the cattle make.
The Bonins raise Angus and Black Baldies bred to an Angus bull near Belmond in Wright County, Iowa. Their farm includes 40 acres of creek pasture where the cattle graze in the summer months. They also grow corn, and they’ve been contract Latham® soybean growers for approximately 30 years.
Dave and Joy began farming 39 years ago. For the past 37 years, they’ve lived on a farm that Joy’s grandparents purchased in 1950. Joy’s father purchased the farm in 1986, and ever since then she and Dave have farmed it. It’s also where they raised their two children, Michelle and David.
“The farm is a great place to raise a family because there are so many things to do and so many wide open spaces to roam,” says Joy. “Both of our children have a very good work ethic and we believe it’s because they learned to work alongside their parents.”
The Bonin’s daughter, Michelle, earned a bachelor’s degree from Drake University and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. She works as a financial services consultant for Deloitte. Her husband, Mike, recently started his own business. They also stay busy with their two children, Madilyn, age 4½, and Matthew, age 1½.
The Bonin’s son, David, plays an active role in the family’s farming operation. He does cattle chores daily, as well as helps with spring planting and fall harvest. David earned his Master Electrician license this winter and works full-time as an industrial electrician. His wife, Rachel, works part-time as a radiologist/lab tech and stays busy keeping up with their five active children: Mike, 15; Zach, 14; Colton, 13; Liberty, 10 and Cole, 8. All boys are active in sports. Meanwhile, Liberty takes lessons in dance, gymnastics and piano.
With seven grandchildren, Dave and Joy have a busy calendar! They enjoy attending as many sporting events and recitals as possible. They also enjoy weekend visits to Glen Carbon, Illinois. In addition, they’re active in their community. Dave just completed a three-year term on the church board. He also serves on the Belmond Community Housing board and the Art Council. He enjoys pencil drawing and riding motorcycle in his spare time. Joy serves and their church’s bookkeeper plus teaches Vacation Bible School each summer. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening and baking.
Because Joy has worked off-farm at Latham Hi-Tech Seeds for nearly 36 years, she values meals that are quick, easy and flavorful. Joy often relies on beef when she prepares supper and takes it to the field during planting and harvest.
Today Joy is sharing a couple of her favorite seasonal recipes with us, one for Rhubarb Crunch Cake and another for Sour Cream Meatballs. “Have a ball” with this beef recipe in celebration of May Beef Month!
Sour Cream Meatballs by Joy Bonin
- 2 pounds ground chuck or round
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 package Lipton dry onion soup mix
- 1½ cups dry bread crumbs
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
Mix all ingredients. Form meatballs and brown in butter or margarine.
In a Dutch oven, mix:
- 1 can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1 can Campbell’s Beef Broth
- 1 can water
Add meatballs to liquid. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Yields about 36 meatballs. Serve over rice or noodles.
Cherry Rhubarb Crunch by Joy Bonin
- 2 ½ cups oatmeal
- ¾ cup flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup margarine
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 T. cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 1 can cherry pie filling
- 4 cups diced rhubarb
- 1 t. almond extract
Crust: Combine ingredients and cut together to make crumbs. Save ¾ c. crumbs for top; put rest of crumbs in a 9X13 in. pan
Filling: In sauce pan, combine sugar, cornstarch and water and cook until thick. Remove from heat and add pie filling, rhubarb, and almond extract. Pour over crumbs and sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Bake at 350° F. for 40 minutes.