Today Dale and his wife, Cindy, feel blessed to raise their four children in the remodeled farmhouse where Dale lived as a child. They also raise corn and soybeans plus sell Latham® seeds. In addition, Dale contract feeds hogs and finishes Holstein steers after starting them on the bucket.
“We love it here,” says Cindy, a native of Wellington, Kansas. “We’ve lived in enough places to appreciate the quality of life in rural Iowa.”
Like many high school graduates, Dale left his parents’ home in rural Osage, Iowa, and enrolled in college. Dale earned a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Technology and a commercial pilot’s license before moving to Arkansas where Dale worked for a freight outfit as an airplane mechanic, flying to other cities where he did maintenance right on the ramp.
After Dale earned a master’s degree in Aviation Safety from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, he had a short stint as production manager at Kestrel Aircraft in Norman, Oklahoma. He then made the move to Tulsa, where he worked for American Airlines. It wasn’t long before a friend of Dale’s called to let him know that Raytheon had an opening for an engineer in Wichita, Kansas. Dale got the job and moved once again. Shortly after moving to Wichita, Dale and Cindy got married. Cindy then left her job at College of the Ozarks in Branson and joined Dale in Wichita.
After a year in Wichita, Dale was contacted by a friend with whom he had worked at American Airlines. He thought Dale would be a good fit for a newly created position in his department at FedEx in Memphis, Tennessee. Dale and Cindy packed up and moved to the Memphis area, settling in Olive Branch, Mississippi. The Hemann’s oldest two children were born while they were living in Mississippi.
With their young family in mind, Dale and Cindy began their journey “home.” They knew they wanted to raise their children around extended family members and in a rural area where there kids could play freely without some of the worries that come with city living. Dale took a position as a ramp/operations manager with FedEx and subsequent transfers moved the family to Madison, Wisconsin, and then to Ames, Iowa. They were thrilled when a position opened with FedEx in Rochester, Minnesota, just 60 miles from Dale’s hometown.
While commuting home from work one day, Dale had a heart-to-heart talk with his dad. Dale was growing weary of switching jobs and moving his family. He was seeking stability and believed that farming would provide that. Plans were made for Dale to begin farming with his dad. Meanwhile, his parents, Larry and Rosemary, made plans to build a house in town. Dale farmed long distance for the first year, commuting to Osage on weekends and using vacation days as needed to get the farm work done.
“None of this would have been possible without the help of my dad,” says Dale. It was an interesting time for all family members. Larry and Rosemary moved out of their house in the country one weekend, and Dale’s family moved in the following weekend.
That was eight years ago, and the family has done lot of growing. Dale and Cindy’s oldest daughter, Lindsay, is now 13. Emily will turn 12 on Feb. 29, and Whitney is 9. Their son, Alex, is 7.
“I love that we live in the country where our kids have lots of room to play,” says Cindy, who grew up in town where she enjoyed playing with neighborhood kids. “They find creative ways to entertain themselves, and we host lots of play dates.”
This time of year the children are busy making crafts, trying experiments and baking. Four active kids with a host of active friends means lots of kitchen time!
“We recently made clay. We had to make volcanoes two weekends in a row because our kids wanted to make them with their friends,” says Cindy with a smile. “Although we’re constantly cleaning up the kitchen, it’s worth it. We’re making memories.”
Cupcakes are one of the Hemann kids’ favorite things to make. The family’s favorite show is Cupcake Wars, which has no doubt inspired some of their fascination with muffin tins and decorating tools.
Although they enjoy sweet treats, the family’s favorite meal centers on beef. Today they’re sharing a recipe for Beef Brisket.
Slow Cooker-Barbecued Beef Brisket
- 3 pounds fresh beef brisket
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. celery seeds
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 c. ketchup
- 1/2 c. chili sauce
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 2 T. cider vinegar
- 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke flavoring
- 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
- Combine ingredients for dry rub and rub all over brisket.
- Place brisket in slow cooker.
- In a bowl, combine sauce ingredients.
- Pour half of the sauce over the brisket.
- Refrigerate remaining sauce.
- Cover and cook brisket on high for 4-5 hours or until meat is tender.
- Serve meat with reserved sauce.