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Ag fitness community helps farm families reach their goals
 
By DEBORAH BEHRENDS
Indiana Correspondent

SISSETON, S.D. — Amanda Nigg is building a fitness community within the ag community one farmer, farm spouse or farm hand at a time.
She explains her mission clearly on her farmfitmomma.com website: “My own experience of overcoming life’s massive obstacles taught me how to use at-home fitness and effective strategies to deal with physical, mental and emotional challenges. After my traumatic experience of losing my home to flames, I turned to fitness to cope with the stress, heartbreak and emotional turmoil that followed.
“Now it’s my life’s mission to help others discover their true potential and understand what it means to be #FarmStrong.”
With a background in healthcare and insurance sales, Nigg said she’s always been a helper and a fixer. Elevenn  years ago when she married her husband, a fifth generation farmer, after meeting him on a blind date. 
“I love this industry and I would never take that for granted,” Nigg said. “Farmers are the true backbone of the world.”
The Niggs started a family, built a house and she continued working in insurance, selling policies door-to-door. Tragedy struck the day before the world shut down with the COVID-19 pandemic when her family home, built just four years before, was destroyed by fire. The good news is that no one was home at the time; the bad news is they lost everything.
Nigg said for days after the fire, she couldn’t get out of bed because of depression. She finally decided she wanted to sift through the rubble in hopes of finding her wedding rings. She remembered exactly where she left them, and some friends returned to the remains to help her look. Finding her rings, damaged beyond repair, helped to pull her from her depression.
“After really struggling with my mental health through this, I decided I need to plug back into controllables,” she said. Her physical fitness was one thing she could control. She said she started digging through the “junk pile” on the farm and built a workout around what she had available.
From that humble beginning, Farm Fit Momma was born, created not only as a community to work out together, but also to get educated about nutrition and tapping to the mental health aspects.
She said every new client is asked to develop a “why statement.” That’s their reason for getting fit and changing their lifestyle. It might be as simple as looking better in a bathing suit, to get stronger, to be around to enjoy grandchildren - everyone has their own reason.
To teach clients and provide them with the best information available, Nigg and her coaches - Traci Johnson, Jayme Pearson, Annamarie Davies and Bridgette Readel - all certified professional trainers and certified nutritional coaches, and are working toward certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. The certification provides them knowledge in health, fitness, nutrition and human movement.
“All my coaches started out with one-on-one training, all are 100 percent ag-based and all of them have a different story. Our stories make us unique, but because we’re all in some aspect of agriculture, we can relate,” Nigg said.
And for Nigg, the Farm Fit program is all about community. “We’re a tribe,” she said. “We all have our highs and lows, but our community is what rallies around us and plays a vital role.
“Agriculture has advanced so much - the technology, practices, the innovation - and that exciting, but we haven’t made those same advances in terms of our health,” she said.
While she acknowledges that there’s no one-size-fits all answer to fitness, Nigg believes the educational aspect of the Farm Fit program is the first step toward a healthier, more fit lifestyle. With a website to introduce the world to Farm Fit, the organization also has its own app to connect the entire Farm Fit community - one that’s spanning the country, and beyond.

2/21/2024