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Craig Pecco, 5, is in charge of feeding all the livestock at the Pecco family farm. "I like to take two trips with the hay, because one is really heavy to pull," he says. The family has cattle, soybean, corn and tobacco farms throughout Kentucky on which all four members work.

Farm family has it together

story by Erin Ilisco

It’s Autumn Pecco's day off from her part-time job as a neuro nurse and while others might choose to relax with a movie or sit around with a book, she is operating farm equipment to help her husband, Nathan, at one of their soybean fields.

A relinquished day off to lend a hand when needed is just one of the ways the Pecco family pulls together to make sure that everything's done that needs to be done.

The support system is the foundation of the Pecco family farm, everyone doing their part and picking up slack wherever needed.

Nathan and Autumn Pecco and their two young children, Samantha and Craig, have roughly 1,000 acres of farmland in several counties in Kentucky. Farming is in their blood. Both Nathan’s and Autumn’s families have been farming for generations. “It’s all I’ve ever known,” says Nathan. Autumn reminisces about her father giving her the job of shoveling the rotten soybeans from the grain bin. “There isn’t a worse smell than rotten soybeans,” she winces.

On the farm at the Pecco residence, 9-year-old Samantha and 5-year-old Craig along with their mother are in charge of taking care of all the livestock. Under a cowboy hat almost bigger than he is, Craig tackles a string of daily chores like feeding the cattle, sheep, horse and goat, and pulling a wagon stacked with hay to different pastures. In addition to Autumn keeping up the daily maintenance of the farm, she and Samantha carry out the many jobs with the prize heifer, getting her ready for the shows in which they compete across the country.

Nathan handles all the crops. During the busiest season, family time together is limited, as Nathan is out working the crops and delivering the harvests. “It’s widow season,” remarks Autumn. She wishes he were home more but understands it’s all necessary to keep the farm going.

As the sun sets on Autumn’s day off, she remarks on the unpredictability of farming and notes that she and Nathan could both get steady 9-to-5 jobs. “We wouldn’t be happy. I couldn’t imagine doing anything except this.”

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Autumn Pecco, 34, and Craig Pecco, 5, make their way through the corn field so Craig can climb into the combine to ride with his dad. The Pecco family has cattle, soybean, corn and tobacco farms throughout Kentucky on which all four members work in support of each other to maintain.

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Boots which Craig Pecco, 5, wears when he plays and helps out on the farm. The Pecco family has cattle, soybean, corn and tobacco farms throughout Kentucky on which all four members work in support of each other to maintain.

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Preparing to have supper, the Peccos — Nathan, 40, Samantha, 9, Autumn, 34, and Craig, 5, — appreciate the time that they can spend together during a busy time of year for farming. The Pecco family has cattle, soybean, corn and tobacco farms throughout Kentucky on which all four members work in support of each other to maintain.

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Nathaniel Schumacher, 18, a longtime friend of the Pecco family, gets Craig Pecco, 5, riled up at one of the family's farms. The Pecco family has cattle, soybean, corn and tobacco farms throughout Kentucky on which all four members work in support of each other to maintain.

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Autumn Pecco, 34, and Nathan Pecco, 40, attend a fundraiser banquet in support of their children's school for which Autumn is a member of the board. The Pecco family has cattle, soybean, corn and tobacco farms throughout Kentucky on which all four members work in support of each other to maintain.

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Autumn Pecco, 34, who, along with her two young children, is in charge of taking care of all the livestock on the farm, works to mend the broken fence areas before the cattle find their way out. The Pecco family has cattle, soybean, corn and tobacco farms throughout Kentucky on which all four members work.

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Samantha Pecco, 9, ties up her prize heifer after walking her in the field. The Pecco family has cattle, soybean, corn and tobacco farms throughout Kentucky on which all four members work in support of each other to maintain.

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Autumn Pecco, 34, checks soybeans for harvest readiness as she reminisces about her father having her shovel out decomposed beans as a child, "There isn't a worse smell than rotten soybeans." The Pecco family has cattle, soybean, corn and tobacco farms throughout Kentucky on which all four members work in support of each other to maintain.

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Samantha Pecco, 9, passes time at one of the family’s farms while her father harvests corn during the last of the day’s light before her mother calls on her to go home for supper and barn chores. The Pecco family has cattle, soybean, corn and tobacco farms throughout Kentucky on which all four members work together.

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