MELISA + TYLER | ENGAGEMENT

Jun 8

“Tyler and I met in college at a “party” in 2010. There was three people there and he showed up with a handle of vodka and a gallon of orange juice for his drink. Needless to say I thought he was a weirdo but we became Facebook friends somehow. Three years later we met up at a wedding reception, I was pretty sure he wouldn’t remember who I was, but shockingly he did. At this point both 5th year seniors at the University of Nebraska Lincoln we spent our first six months of dating and the same last six months of our undergraduate time in Lincoln. He was a bartender and bouncer at everyone’s favorite hole in the wall. We both loved to enjoy nights out with all the amazing people that we knew in Lincoln We both graduated with our undergraduate degrees from   the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and actually sat right next to each other at the ceremony. I hadn’t ever really brought a boy home to the farm before, so I knew when I did it would have to be someone pretty special. The very first time I brought him home, he laced up his boots and said “ Let’s go feed some cows”. He spent the whole evening talking to the cows like they were dogs and even helped me move a baby calf out to a hutch, where he proceeded to get peed on and he just laughed.

Tyler studied Professional Golf Management in college, and little did I know that like farming, it sounds far more glorious than it is. Starting in 2015 we spent the next 5 years doing long distance as he moved to places like Chicago, Phoenix and Des Moines. Not only was he a good distance away but he would be working 60 to 70 hour weeks. I found myself to be an expert airline traveler and lover of exploring new places but I also found myself becoming more involved in the farm, keeping myself busy so I wouldn’t have time to be mad about being so far apart. We had the best 5 years though, going to concerts, traveling to places across the country, going to Cubs baseball games, and meeting so many incredible new people. Finally in 2019, he broke the news that he had accepted a position to be the head golf professional at his home town course of North Bend. Moving us right into the stage where we both lived with our parents about 25 minutes apart in our parent’s basements.

In November 2019, he made plans for us for a day date one Friday in Lincoln with a Nebraska Football game the next day. He took me to get my nails done, drinks, supper and then an afterhours tour of Memorial stadium from a good friend of his who worked there. Tyler ended up proposing at 9:00 pm on the 50 yard line of Memorial Stadium as all of our family and friends were up watching in the sky boxes, then went out to celebrate afterwards.

As with most of our relationship up to this point, patience was key in the engagement. We waited about 1.5 years to get married on April 17, 2021. We both agree it was better than we could have ever imagined, and we got to work with the best people. We bought a house in the rural community where I’m from so we are both close to where we work but really enjoy small town life with all of its incredible opportunities and people.  We are close to the farm and our families, which has always been important to us.

I don’t know if Tyler knew what he was signing up for exactly when we started dating. He is from a small rural community and worked for a local grain farmer in high school. But I’m not sure he knew what sort of chaos he got involved in when he met the Konecky’s. My grandpa, Tom Sr, won his first dairy calf at the local county fair one summer. He took the calf home and worked with his local extension program to build himself a herd of cows, but he picked the Guernsey because of temperament and milk components. He started milking in a station barn, by hands and then by machine but still hauling pails of milk into his bulk cooling tank. Meanwhile, Tom Sr and his wife, Marie, also managed to raise 10 kids alongside their herd of dairy cows. My dad, Tom, being the oldest was followed by 8 more sisters and one brother. Being the oldest and most involved my dad knew he wanted to stay home and farm, my even passing up a regents scholarship to the UNL after high school. He and grandpa built a state of the art milking parlor and manure facility and expanded the herd to a little over 90 milking cows with plans to continue to grow and expand but the milk market had other ideas. About this same time my parents, Tom Jr and Sharon, were also trying to raise four kids themselves: Me, Andi (sister), Vince (brother), and Nate (brother). We were always around the farm, helping with small projects and each year picking up more responsibility.

Grandpa passed away in 2009, my senior year of high school, so dad was left at home alone to milk cows and continue to farm and put up hay and silage. Vince started to pick up some slack, finding his footing in the crops and hay portion of the farm but all of us kids started stepping up more to help with various pieces.

Vince and I both went to the University of Nebraska Lincoln to study agriculture, him studying agronomy and I studied animal science and agriculture leadership. We all always knew Vince would come home to farm, he really excelled in agronomy and learning how to grow crops and care for the land successfully. He did want to convert the farm over to beef cattle, knowing that the dairy wasn’t maybe the most promising of plans. I took a job after college and moved about 1 hour from our farm. Coming home on weekends to help Vince and dad with whatever plans they had but never really wanted to return and fully be part of the operation.

About the same time Vince graduated from college and moved home, I also accepted a new position in my hometown. Vince and I were around all the time and spent pretty much all our mornings and evenings at the farm. The dairy herd was still getting smaller, somehow over the past couple years I have taken over most all management of the dairy herd. Managing 3 to 4 part time helpers, herd health and reproduction, calves and feeding. Looking back, I’m not even sure how I took over all these responsibilities honestly. It’s one of those things that just happened gradually over time and here we are! In about 2018 we did make the decision to finish selling the rest of the dairy herd and move into the beef cows.  All of us siblings and our dad did decide to buy some beef cows to calve out. However in the last couple years we have found some private avenues for sales for our milk. Dutch Girl Creamery from Lincoln, reached out about a year ago asking to buy milk from us in order for them to make cows milk cheese. That combined with our private sales of milk are the reason that we have remained in the dairy industry.

Today, my dad, Tom, my brother, Vince, and I all run the farm together. We have a small herd of dairy cows, cow and calf pairs, corn, soybeans, rye, alfalfa and straw. We working to sell more of our products directly to consumers but still utilize commercial markets for other products as well. I work mostly with the milking herd of cows doing milking’s, staff management, and reproduction and feeding. I also handle a lot of day to day activities and pieces of the financial management and planning.  Vince spends a lot of his time and energy working on the crops pieces of the farm but also has done a really great job with upgrading facilities and leading big changes. As with any functioning farm though it is hard to draw clear lines of duties as we all help to work towards everything. We still feel as though dad is our “boss” but at the end of the day know that we still have input into decisions and farm direction. Our dad is the smartest man I know, can fix just about anything and has never been afraid to let us try something, fail and then help us to pick up the pieces.“

photographer- Sandhills Blue Photography
Small Town Love and Western Wedding Photographer

Tyler + Melisa 
Kingston @mkonecky
Beauty View Dairy Farm 
Wahoo, Nebraska.

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