A Chat with Tracey Schley, Director of the Jackson Food Shelf

A chat with Tracey Schley, Director of the Jackson Food Shelf

Farm Market News: What is your professional affiliation? How long have you served in this position?
Tracey Schley: Director of the Jackson Food Shelf, Inc. I started as a volunteer for the food shelf in 2013 and became the co-coordinator in 2014. In 2018, I became the Director.

FMN: What are your organization’s primary objectives?
TS: The Food Shelf has several objectives, as we serve many different clients. Mainly, we want to provide a safe environment for anyone in need of food. We always strive to make it a happy healthy place with healthy food choices.

FMN: How does your organization benefit its members?
TS: Healthy and Nutritional Food is a benefit we provide. When you are faced with tough choices and wondering how you are going to feed your family, it is a huge benefit to have a place that will help with healthy food so you will be able to pay your heating bill or get the medicine you need for your child.

FMN: Where did you grow up?
TS: I grew up a farmer’s daughter, by Ceylon, Minn., the youngest of seven children.

FMN: Do you farm currently? If so where?
TS: Yes, I did not travel far from my home. All my life I have been a part of agriculture.

FMN: Can you describe your operation?
TS: We currently farm with our nephew, Kyle Schley, and his family. We grow both corn and soybeans. Between the combined acres of the two families and some custom work, we work roughly 1,800 acres of ground.

FMN: Family?
TS: My husband is Dan Schley. I have two daughters, Stephanie Moore and Mackenzie Schley; stepson Ryan Schley; stepdaughter Kelly Schley and seven grandchildren.

FMN: Outside interests?
TS: I enjoy gardening, crocheting and reading.

FMN: What advice would you give young people looking at a career in agriculture?
TS:  The future looks bright for young people looking to get involved in agriculture as there is less than 2 percent involved in production agriculture, whether it be in a business side of ag or farming. My advice to young people would be to work hard, do your best and don’t be afraid to think outside the box or try something new.