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Busy cook gets creative with timing and ingredients

Busy cook gets creative with timing and ingredients

Nora Schultz

Korean Beef Tacos are one of Nora Schultz’s go-to meals. Schultz farms in Sac County, Iowa.

LAKE VIEW, Iowa — Nora Schultz says there are days when farming, a full-time job and a toddler are a trying trifecta.

“We keep pretty busy around here,” she says. “There is always plenty of work to do, but we also have fun.”

Nora and her husband Eric farm near here in Sac County, and have a 20-month-old son, William. She works as the sales agronomist for Jacobsen Seed.

She grew up on a farm near Williamsburg, Iowa, and met Eric while they were both agronomy majors at Iowa State University. Nora graduated in 2014, and she and Eric were married the same year.

The couple lives on the family’s Century Farm, where Eric farms full time with his father, Rich. In addition to growing corn and soybeans, they raise hogs for Niman Ranch. Their cattle are also sold to Niman but are not contracted.

Finding time to cook is a challenge, but Nora says she loves to spend time in the kitchen. She has a big garden in addition to some fruit trees, so much of what she cooks is grown on their west central Iowa farm.

“It’s different when you use the things you grow, so you have to be creative,” Nora says. “Sometimes we play ‘Chopped’ (a reality TV cooking show with limited ingredients) and we eat that for a week.”

She says her mom is a very good cook, and that she learned a great deal from her. Nora adds there was a pivotal moment when she was young that helped lead her to explore her creativity in the kitchen.

“I was in 4th or 5th grade and the power went out, and I didn’t know how to make Spaghetti-Os,” she says. “My brother teased me for a long time after that, so the next year I made him a lamb roast. That was fun.”

The family eats a wide array of food, and Nora says both Eric and William are good about trying new things.

“Eric is the best guinea pig around. He will try anything and usually likes it,” she says.

Asian and Mexican food are always popular at meal time.

Nora says meal preparation is essential to getting food on the table.

“I cook a lot on the weekends, so we will eat leftovers during the week,” she says. “There’s not always enough time to prepare a meal that evening.”

In addition to work and the farm, Nora and Eric are active in the community. She helped start Cancer Companions at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wall Lake.

“It helps cancer survivors,” Nora says. “We got started right before COVID-19 started, so we are continuing to build the program. I think it’s going to help a lot of people, and I enjoy being able to do that.”

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Jeff DeYoung is livestock editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.

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