Curt's latest release is a "Journal of Rural Life"
ORDER NOW!!!A Year with Farm to Family: A Journal of Rural Life
CLICK HERE for order form
Cedar County News - 100 pgs.
Prayer for Farm Families
You Tube Video
Curt Arens has been a free lance farm writer for over 25 years, almost as long as he's been farming. From 2005 until 2010, he has written about his own observations of rural landscapes and communities, humorous farm stories, and resilient farm folks for a weekly column called "Farm to Family," originally published in the Cedar County News in Hartington, Nebraska. Arens recently discontinued his colums after accepting a position as a regional editor for Farm Progress publications, visiting farms and ranches and interviewing agriculture professionals, writing mostly for Nebraska Farmer and Dakota Farmer magazines.
But the columns, which eventually appeared in seven newspapers each week in Nebraska and Illinois, are still available as inspiration for Arens’ newly released book from the Cedar County News, called "A Year with Farm to Family: A Journal of Rural Life."
Curt's new book, which follows his award winning “Down to Earth,” is a compilation of 52 - a year's worth - of his favorite columns. Some of the entries are rather touching, others are funny, and still others are dramatic and thoughtful. Overall, the book provides a real glimpse into the lives, the faith, and the hopes and dreams of rural folks everywhere. It is, in short, a tribute to farmers and ranchers and all rural Americans.Here are a few early reviews of the book...
It is cliché to say that someone is living out their lifelong dreams, but for Crofton, Nebraska farmer, Curt Arens, it is probably true. Arens grew up on his family’s farm along West Bow Creek south of Crofton, hoping to one day be able to raise a family of his own on the fourth generation Arens farmstead.
Also growing up, giving 4-H and FFA speeches, editing the high school yearbook, and writing for the local newspaper, the Crofton Journal, he secretly aspired to publish a book. Now, both of those dreams have come to reality.
Arens farms with his wife, Donna and his three children on the land of his ancestors. And his first book, Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land, was released in January by Catholic and Christian publisher, ACTA Publications in Skokie, IL.
A veteran free lance journalist, Arens has enjoyed regular credits in recent years in national and regional publications like Successful Farming, Nebraska Farmer, Nebraska Life, American Profile, Norfolk Daily News and Living Here. He founded "Farm to Family Connection," a Yankton, SD-based weekly radio program promoting local family farms and communities. Arens writes a weekly column, "Farm to Family," for the six newspapers owned by the Northeast Nebraska News Agency in Hartington, Neb. He was also a 2003-2005 Food and Society Policy Fellow, a member of a national agriculture communications fellowship aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture, family farming and locally raised food.
"When I was in high school, I dreamed about someday having my own book in print," Arens said. "But I thought it would be a biography of some historical figure, or maybe a farm book of some kind. Those would have been easier to write."
Link to Nebraska Farmer Magazine|
Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land - Introduction and Book Excerpts
Prayer for Farm Families
Farm To Family - Curt's Weekly Column
From Woolworth Avenue to the White House: For His First 16 Days, Gerald Ford’s Home was Omaha – Nebraska Life, July/August 2001
Ab’s Place: I Didn’t Know How Much I Appreciated the Old Farmstead until the Day it was Gone – Rural Voices: Literature from Rural Nebraska, Mead, Neb.: Dirt Road Press, 2002
Bergland Looks Back: Ag Secretary Who Served 30 Years Ago Has Very Modern Ideas - Successful Farming, April 2007
Strolling Down Privy Lane: Digging to the Bottom of Outhouse Lore – Living Here, Winter 2005
Lost Towns of the Missouri River: Searching for Tales and Ruins Along Nebraska's Northeast Border - Nebraska Life, September/October 2004
Select Articles and Publications 1996-2009
Down to Earth is part of ACTA Publication’s "American Catholic Experience" series, a grouping of select books written by ordinary Catholics about how they view their lives, their occupations, their communities and their families through the lens of faith.
"I am not a terribly assertive person, so I have always viewed faith as a private matter," said Arens. "So revealing how I think about faith in my own life as a husband, father, a member of a rural community and parish and as a farmer, was one of the most difficult writing opportunities that I have taken on."
Arens tells about growing up on the family farm near Crofton, imparting his personal stories about the intimate details of farm life, of being a good steward, experiencing college and eventually marrying Donna, and taking over the family farm from his parents, all with faith at the base of each story.
From the book’s foreword, publisher Gregory F. Augustine Pierce wrote, "Those of you who are looking for a political polemic on the issues facing modern agriculture or a theological treatise on Church doctrines or practices are going to have to look elsewhere. Curt Arens is just going to tell his story."
"The book is a tribute to the sacredness of rural life, particularly those hardworking, generous people in my own community," says Arens. "It is about the faith and farm lessons I’ve learned from my parents and grandparents, from my wife, children and in-laws, and from my neighbors and friends."
"Family farming is often maligned these days, particularly by youth who pass farming up as a career choice because they think of it only as a lifestyle that is too difficult and too prone to poverty," says Arens. "It is difficult, and a lot less romantic than most urban dwellers think, but the rewards of living on the land, witnessing God and caring for creation close-up, and raising a family within the warmth of a small town and close-knit faith community, far outweigh the financial challenges."
Pierce agrees, "Down to Earth is about the harvest of blessings that come from trying to help bring about the kingdom of God on earth, as it is in heaven." He writes, "In that sense, it is for all of us, no matter where or how we find ourselves living and working in this world. It (the book) is about every farmer, and it is about you and about me."
"Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land" was released by ACTA Publications in January 2008. It is now available online at - www.actapublications.com - and on general online seller Amazon.com HERE.
FROM THE BACK COVER…
The American Catholic Experience (Rural Edition)
The American Catholic Experience series is an innovative collection of reflections exploring the stories of individual lay Catholics in the United States. The authors reflect on what it has meant to them to live out their faith amidst the joys and challenges of their daily lives on their jobs, with their families and friends, and in their communities and churches.
Curt Arens is a farmer. He works the Arens family farm along Bow Creek in Crofton, Nebraska, near the Nebraska-South Dakota border. The farm has been in the Arens family since 1916, when his grandparents, John and Caroline Arens, first moved onto it and began farming.
Curt Arens is also a Catholic. He was baptized at St. Rose Catholic Church in Crofton, where he attended the Catholic school, received his first communion and confirmation and served as an altar boy. As an adult, he appreciates, participates and supports his local parish and school, along with his wife and family.
In Down to Earth, Arens traces his own development as both a farmer and a Catholic from his student years at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, to his taking on the responsibility of the family farm after graduation, to his marriage to his wife, Donna, and the births of their three children. He reflects on his experience with the Cursillo movement, the changes in the Church brought about by Vatican II, and the spirituality of rural living, as well as the challenges found in contemporary family farming.
I used to think my faith and my work were separate things, but after years of farming, I now understand my spiritual life and my occupation are molded together in a way that cannot be separated.
— Curt Arens