If smiling is really contagious, then the reason the farm is such a happy place is because we have Brianne around.
Kyle hired Bri about three years ago, when she was in school studying to become an elementary teacher. She said she loved working with kids, so Kyle put her on zip line supervision. And she loved it. And the kids loved her.
Since then, Bri has found her way into almost every aspect of farm life. She helps with events and weddings, bartending, doing dishes, rolling thousands and thousands of silverware sets, serving buffets and bussing, supervising the setup of the space, cleaning the barn and farm areas, and helping the couples decorate. She's helped with strawberries, she's worked the ticket window, been in the kitchen, been behind the checkout counter, sugared the donuts, helped in the fields. And recently, she's been making ice cream and working in the truck, scooping up ice cream to our local communities.
Bri is a really great utility person. And a really great person. Her smile is her superpower - but what's more, her infectious personality and happiness lifts everyone up around her and makes even the longest shifts fun.
We are lucky to have Bri, and so far, we've made it just interesting enough to keep her around at the farm.
Bri's involvement in weddings has given her LOTS of ideas for her own wedding (think of the farm as a living Pinterest board), and it's also given her some of her favorite moments. As coordinators and as staff, we get to meet many beautiful and amazing couples, and get to bear witness to many lovely moments, and one of Bri's favorites is that magic moment when the bride and her father begin their walk down the aisle. Hearing the sweet words from father to bride and seeing the happiness they all feel is one of Bri's favorite moments.
It's these moments that help offset some of the more...unglamorous...parts of a wedding and events business, like the 2 a.m. clean up after a reception. After everyone leaves, the process of wiping down tables and chairs, peeling stickers off the floor, and dumping all the leftover drinks begins. Although this part may not make the Pinterest board, for Bri, seeing the whole day - from turning on the lights for the florist delivery to dunking that final beer bottle in the recycling bin - come together is always a neat experience.
In her whole time at the farm, the only experience Bri was not down for was was being our Easter Bunny for the annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny. She was able to wiggle out of that job by convincing Kyle that a bunny taller than 5' 3" might be a better idea.
Despite - or perhaps even because of - some of these odd jobs, Bri truly loves working on the farm. Like many of our amazing staff, the fact that she is constantly doing something different keeps her interested and busy. The best part, though? She loves who she works with.
As Bri puts it, who you work with can make or break the work environment. "As a farm staff, we have so much fun together and we truly enjoy experiencing all Kyle's crazy ideas and events together. Being able to laugh together when bussing tables and sugaring donuts definitely makes the time go by faster." We definitely agree, and, Bri, the feeling is definitely mutual.
An added recent bonus?
"I also can't complain about taste testing the countless flavors of ice cream or quality control checking the apple cider donuts," says Bri.
An added recent bonus for us? Bri isn't going anywhere any time soon!
She just graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a degree in elementary education, minoring in early childhood. In the fall, she'll be starting her career teaching 4K at Winskill Elementary School right here in Lancaster, which means that not only will Bri be sticking around the area and staying with us at the farm, she'll be bringing her class out to the farm for school tours! She is excited that she'll be able to show her students what she does at her other work home, or what she's doing when she's not spending time with family and friends, kayaking, fishing, or baking. But we've got her beat in the excitement department because we know she'll be smiling along with us for years to come!
Thank you so much, Bri, for just being you. We are so thankful for the person you are and for what you bring to our farm family.
We'll always have a melty ice cream milkshake on the counter for you. :)
Fun on the farm...in blog form!