Who the Heck is She?

I'm Donna O'Shaughnessy, 55,  wife, mother, grandmother, sister, writer, saponifier, patriot, retired RN and Manure Preneur.

Manure Preneur  is my own fancy word for farmer which I now do full time, when I am not in school. Prior to that, for over 36 years, I was in healthcare. A certified nurses aide for 11 years starting at age 14. One day I'll tell you the story of how I mixed up the ice pitchers for the men's urinals. In 1985 I graduated from nursing school (Rapid City Regional Hospital School of Nursing in South Dakota) and then spent the next 13 years caring for Hospice patients, first as staff nurse and then as director of a small community hospice program.

I loved that job but it sucked the life out of my family time so I left that hospital and picked up a nice weekend gig in another small facility. There I worked only weekends, night shift, for a decade before my body screamed ENOUGH! Taking a huge leap of faith I came home to the farm full time losing a regular salary and a nice benefit package but gaining time for my husband, my family and our farm and an even better benefit package.

Being home full time gave me the opportunity to seriously market our farm and its products and our business took off. It also has allowed me to return to one of the first loves of my life: writing. In the fall of 2014 I returned to the University of Illinois in Champaign for a degree in Creative writing. I will graduate in May 2016. If so compelled please hop over to My Writing Blog.

My husband Keith Parrish and I own South Pork Ranch in Central Illinois. He has been straddled with me for over 20 years. Together we raised 4 children and now we help with several grandchildren or GK's as I will refer to them in this blog. We are crazy blessed in that all my siblings, all our children and grandchildren live within 45 miles of our farm.

We have a huge dining room table for all of us to sit, argue, laugh and drink gallons of coffee.

Together, Keith and I raise the critically endangered Red Wattle Hogs, manage our small raw milk dairy, care for our steers, heifers, smaller calves, dogs, cats, horse, donkey, chickens, guineas, peacocks, and turkeys.


  1. Hi Donna,
    I am running for Representative to the Illinois General Assembly and one of the things I want to work on is expanding the legalization of the sale of raw milk in Illinois. And not just from the farmer to the individual consuming the milk but also from the farmer to the grocery stores. I also want to put protections in place for small farmers and to encourage more farming in Illinois. I know how important locally grown food is for our health and this includes raw milk. Please e-mail me so we can discuss this further. My e-mail is debbie@expandingwellness.com Thank you Debbie Miller

  2. Hi Donna!

    I'm writing an article about HB 4036 for Chicagoist.com. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind helping me with some fact checking. Please let me know if you can help me out.

    Thank you very much!
    Erika Kubick

  3. Hey Dear Donna,
    So glad to find u here! Have been arching for ur contact.
    We miss u on d farm while fetching milk. Not just your efforts n sincerely made that place welcoming but also ur energy which we also could taste in the milk! Can't Thank you enough for it... Warm wishes for new venture!

  4. Hi Donna!
    I hope that you are still active on here. I have really enjoyed reading your page. My husband and I are new ranchers (very small) and are raising our first litter of red wattles. Do you have any feeding suggestions for the piglets? We know the fat content is different in these pigs and would love any suggestions. Thanks!