(This post written by Jason) Several people have asked for more information about us over the last several weeks and we are happy to oblige.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourselves individually and your history prior to your marriage.
A: Jason was born and raised near Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada on the north shore of Lake Ontario about 50 miles east of Toronto. I graduated from the University of Guelph. I worked in the livestock feed industry for several years after graduation from college. I also moved back home after buying a portion of our multi-generation family farm from my dad’s estate. We quickly grew the farm into a viable business and I (and my then wife) built a home just up the road from my mom. Unexpectedly, my wife left me a couple of years after this, and when I discovered why we were quickly divorced. A few days after she left, she handed me a settlement agreement (basically a bill for being married to her !) which I paid for with the sale of the farm.
Melissa was born in Tennessee and mostly raised in Brentwood which is a suburb of Nashville. She got her first pony when she was five years old and she has had one or more horses ever since. While she was in high school, her parents bought a tract of land near College Grove and they developed it into the beautiful estate you see in all of our pictures. (We have had a very high bar set for us when it comes to being picturesque with our new farm !) Melissa graduated from the University of Memphis with a B.S. in Biology. She originally intended to go to vet school and was accepted, but by then had realized she did not want to be a vet. She worked for a vet while in college and while she remains friends to this day with her former employer she realized she was not going to be able to handle certain emotional aspects of being a vet. After graduating she married and at the same time she also started a recruiting company in Nashville. Over time, she won a sheaf of awards including being named to Nashville’s Top Thirty Under Thirty and received a lot of press for turning this small business into a successful multi-million dollar company. In a situation eerily reminiscent of mine, she and her husband ended up divorcing. Apparently neither of us take well to finding out there are more than two people in a relationship !
Q. How did you and Melissa meet ?
A: Believe it or not, we originally met on a divorce support and recovery website. At the same time, I started brokering hay from Ontario into the mid-south, primarily selling to horse people. The LAST thing on either of our minds at the time was hooking up with someone with the thoughts that it would turn into marriage, but over time that is exactly what happened. Also, the vet/friend/employer of Melissa's mentioned above happened to move to Canada and buy a vet practice near me, and she did a lot of background checking of me for Melissa as well. It was an interesting combination of people and circumstances that brought us together.
Q: And then what happened ?
A: For a whole variety of reasons, we figured it would be easier and more prudent for me to immigrate to the US than for Melissa to move to Canada. As you’ll see, I’m very glad it worked out that way. Melissa was game to try living in the north, so I came to the U.S. on a Trade NAFTA Visa (I am now a U.S. citizen) and took a job as a large herd dairy specialist at Blue Seal Feeds, Brandon VT covering parts of the Champlain Valley and portions of upstate NY. We were married at Orwell, VT in the front yard of our house under the apple trees. To say that Melissa is not built to handle the cold would be a huge understatement. After one northern winter, which I honestly felt was pretty benign, it was evident that unless I wanted to be married to a sick ice-cube, we would be relocating south ! If I didn’t know what I was in for by being married to a horse woman, I quickly learned. We spent exactly twice as much relocating Melissa’s horses to and from central Vermont to Tennessee than we did relocating ourselves !
For anyone who cared to read it that concludes our brief history of Melissa and Jason !
Lily trotting through the pasture
Alex and B-Rad
Big Boys grazing