As a farmer's wife, Dawn said patience, support and understanding is the key to sustaining a farmer's life full of uncertainties.
From a young wife living on and maintaining a farm in rural Arkansas, to a mother who holds down the daily challenges of life, Dawn Render is the nucleus of the family.
Growing up in a farm family herself in Monroe County, Dawn knew when she married a farmer she was not just taking on his last name, but also his farming lifestyle.
Dawn met Chad over 22 years ago when she was in college pursing her nursing degree at Arkansas State University.
“I was a nurse working for an orthopedic surgeon in Jonesboro and Chad came in as a patient three different times,” said Dawn.
Claiming he had broke his toe that the doctor diagnosed as stumped instead, Chad knew from the moment he saw Dawn, she would one day be his wife.
“That’s how I met the love of my life,” said Chad. “All over a toe injury.”
Chad was attending Arkansas State University and farming on his family farm. As his farming progressed so did his relationship with Dawn, falling deeply in love with her giving her his last name on January 3, 1998.
“When we left Jonesboro we picked up a farm in Lonoke County for two years and then found some better land in Jefferson County in 2001,” said Chad. “In 2004 Mary was born…22 months later Stella was born.”
When you are a full-time farming family, your schedule revolves around the weather, planting, harvest and most importantly family and according to Chad, his wife is the glue that holds everything together.
“She keeps me in the right direction,” said Chad. “I’m absentee a lot as a dad just because the hours of farming are really long. A lot of times she plays the dad and mom role.”
Dawn quit her job as a nurse to raise her daughters and to manage the business side of the farming industry.
“I do all the bookkeeping and payroll,” said Dawn. I sort through the mail and keep the home life running smoothly.”
As a young family, Dawn played an important role raising her babies but as they became older her role change.
Her natural parenting skills directly translated to her new job as a “momager” when her daughter’s, Mary-Keaton and Stella Render, discovered their musical genes and talents.
“Their music journey really took off this year,” said Dawn. “I take them where they need go. I support the girls on their musical journey managing their time and supporting their efforts.”
One of Dawn’s greatest loves is being a foster parent to her fur babies. With over crowding dog shelters, Dawn has opened her home providing a safe and loving home environment to Lacey, Sadie, Black Dog, Tiny, Sal and Lizzy.
“I love working with dogs,” said Dawn who has volunteered throughout the years with the local humane society and local dog pounds. “I foster dogs to bridge them between homelessness and their forever homes. That is one thing that I really do enjoy is the animals.”
Dawn occasionally plays the piano and she enjoys cooking. Some of her favorite dishes to cook are tacos, spaghetti, fried chicken and a variety of desserts.
Being a farmer’s wife isn’t easy and her role as a wife is vital. Dawn blushed while her husband told her just how important she was to the family.
As a farmer’s wife, Dawn said patience, support and understanding is the key to sustaining a farmer’s life full of uncertainties. According to Chad, in the beginning it can be very challenging when you don’t have collateral and you start to inquire lots of debt.
“You have to be there for them to support them because it is a lot of physical labor and mental work,” said Dawn. “They are running a business in 100 degree weather all day long in the heat which is exhausting as well. You have to be understanding, be there for them to talk to and support.”
There’s no greater feeling to Dawn then when the busy schedules finally allows them all to be together to enjoy one another’s company.
From watching movies to playing family games, Dawn says she appreciates every moment. Just as she appreciates those moments, her family appreciates her all the same.
“She keeps up with the business side of the farm. I could not do it without her,” said Chad. “She’s a great mom to these girls and a great wife to me. I’m very blessed. I could not do it without her.”