On this week’s episode of The Rural Woman Podcast you’ll meet Mel Gallup from Southern Idaho. Mel is a registered nurse who farms alongside her family and started her own business Calloused Hands Bounty where she makes soaps and other handmade products. Who knew back in January when we recorded this episode that soap would be such a popular topic!
Mel Gallup | Bio
Hello, my name is Melanie Gallup but please call me “Mel” like everyone else does. I live in southern Idaho where my husband and I chose to settle down right in the heard of dairy country.
I was born and raised in eastern Idaho where my family had a small family farm that raised potatoes, grain, hay and cattle. Some of my fondest memories are potato harvest with the neighbors and feeding cattle in the winder with horse and sleigh.
I went to college in northern Idaho and studied nursing. As the saying goes, you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country from the girl. To fill my longing to be part of the country life I supported myself through school by working for the local livestock auction by being a gate girl, horse wrangler, truck loader, and eventually vet assistance. I met my future husband in the midst of all of this and we ended working together at the sale and doing our programs together, me, nursing and John, veterinary school.
I graduated with a RN, BSN in 2001 and then got married. We lived in Oregon for one year while John finished up vet school. I told him before we were married that I had full plans to live in Idaho once he got out of school and luckily he agreed.
We settled in Gooding and I started working for a home health agency in 2002. Many times it would end up that John and I would meet on the same place and he would go to the corrals and I would go the house to take care of whoever needed help. It was wonderful to work together that way per say, he took care of the animals and I took care of the people. We have 2 boys and a small herd of commercial beef cattle and 2 cow milking dairy. We sell raw milk and beef to the locals and I now run the local farmers market along with working at a local doctor’s office.
I started a homemade soap business, Calloused Hands Bounty, in 2014. I wanted to focus on utilizing ingredients that are produced and raised by the farmers, rancher and home gardeners in the US. One ingredient that I primarily use is beef tallow. It’s a piece of the cow that doesn’t always get used during our custom farm butchering and I have focused my company around that resource. Beef tallow is part of every soap I do for it locally sourced and supports the people that I love so much even in the smallest way. I continue to focus on ingredients that are produced in the US while also adding some luxury to make my product stand out in the crowd.
I continue to work as a nurse in a local doctor’s office as a case manager. I work with local farmers and ranchers daily that make up our small rural communities and I have started to focus on the health problems and preventions that they battle daily. People don’t realize that farmers fall into bad health due to feeling like they don’t have the time to go to the doctor, maybe aren’t educated about the effects to themselves with what they do daily and what they can do as prevention. Agriculture workers need support, resources, and education provided in a way that works with their lives, allows them to work in what they love and in the end supports them and their families.
I sometime have to remind myself that I am deeply rooted in agriculture even though I’m not in the field or with the herd on a daily basis. I look out for the health and welfare of the people that put food on the table and I am deeply honored to the things I do.
Review of The Week
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – farmwifeontario via Apple Podcasts
“Love listening to all these amazing ladies on each episode! Every single one of them is so inspiring and are such hard working women! I look so forward to listening to each new interview! Keep up the amazing work! ❤️”
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R A L L Y
Links Mentioned in The Show
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