As we reflect on the women who raised us this Mother’s Day, South Dakota Farmers Union would like to celebrate the many women who support the state’s No. 1 industry – farm and ranch moms. This year, the organization features Cassie Sumption of Frederick and Elsie Meeks of Interior.
From the time she was young, Cassie Sumption knew she wanted a large family.
“I have three sisters and I always knew I would never have less than four kids,” said the mom of five. “I come from a large family and I was always surrounded by lots of cousins, all the time.”
Cassie’s grandparents farmed near Hecla, South Dakota, the small town where she grew up.
“My family all lived right beside each other, like the Sumptions, all within a couple miles of one another,” she said comparing her husband’s family. “Our holidays were just like they are now – a house full of kids at grandma and grandpa’s. It was crazy and fun.”
Raised by a single mom, Cassie says although she knew money was scarce, her mom, Cathy created a home where love and fun were abundant.
“My mom is amazing. Us girls did not realize we were going without because she made up for it with her love,” Sumption said. “It was not until I got to be an adult that I realized how crazy hard it was for her. Growing up we had no idea. She never said we can’t do this or that. She would always make things fun, so we loved life and didn’t feel like we missed out on anything.’”
Like most of today’s farm moms, Sumption juggled an off-farm job much of the time she was raising her family. Today, her youngest is 12.
“Every stage is so fun. Even now with them getting older. It is so fun to watch them become who they are,” she said. “When they were little it was fun to watch them learn new things. Teen years are a little trying sometimes, but it is fun to see them start thinking about their future and what they want to be. And finding their places in the world is so neat.”
Her children are Miranda, 22, Trevor, 20, Marissa, 17, Tristan, 15 and Preston, 12.
Sumption says she has also enjoyed witnessing each discovery and stage of life with her husband, Taylor.
“I think the most important thing, is to have Taylor to co-parent with me. I don’t know how my mom did it alone,” she said, explaining that when it comes to discipline, Taylor is the go-to parent, but when it comes to comfort, she is the one her kids turn to. “I flip out with my emotions. Taylor speaks with his head.”
Sumption and Taylor met during the Frederick homecoming dance. At the time, Hecla and Frederick’s football teams were co-opt.
“It’s one of those things that has worked out all these years,” she said. “We have grown so much together, and we are still growing together. It’s never really over.”
She has also enjoyed raising the children on his family’s Frederick farm.
“I loved watching how Taylor would take the little boys to the farm with him,” she said. “They would play on the farm and they didn’t realize how much they were learning. They would watch him and I’m sure he didn’t realize how much they were learning either.”
In addition to providing her children with lots of outdoor spaces to explore, play and develop a strong work ethic, being close to Taylor’s family, especially his mom, Margaret, is something Cassie appreciates.
“She is the perfect balance. She is here in a heartbeat when I need her, but she gives us space. She is a huge blessing,” Sumption said. “I have had an army of amazing women surrounding me my whole life, my mother, my grandmother, Margaret and my aunts.”