About Kelly

The Abridged Version

Kelly Rivard in a fire hat

This is my face. Don’t ask about the fire helmet.

I’m Kelly M. Rivard. I’m a country-raised 20-something living the urban life in downtown Kansas City. I’m a digital communicator, an advocate for conversations about food and farming, a bleeding heart who volunteers way too much, and a bipolar bulimic working hard to try to lead the most stable and fulfilling life I can. I’m a devoted owner/mother to my longhaired Dachshund Rory Rue. Thanks to a strong faith community here in Kansas City, I have been able to “rediscover” and renew my relationship with God. My faith is important to me. I also have a boyfriend and he’s kind of a big deal. We are slowly building a menagerie together because animals are the best.

I try to approach my big unknowns in life as a blank canvas, a blessing, and an opportunity, rather than something to fear.

Kelly Rivard Feel Good Hump Day Moments

And this is Rory!

The Longer-But-Not-Exactly-Complete-Because-It-Would-Take-Too-Long-To-Tell Version

I grew up surrounded by agriculture. My father came from “farming stock” but a series of unfortunate events spanning several decades meant that my family did not farm full-time. My dad did farm parttime alongside my uncle, and we also had small agricultural projects cropping up here and there throughout my childhood. Daddy fostered in all four of his children a love for rural America, the agricultural lifestyle, and an incredibly strong work ethic. My father passed very unexpectedly when I was 12, of a massive heart attack. That ended a lot of my exposure to most things agriculture.

Kelly Rivard and Daddy Gerard Rivard

The only digital picture I have of Daddy and I, that I know of.

In high school, I rediscovered my love of agriculture, though a socially-awkward, borderline uptight yet still charming young man named Tim (who has often been referred to as Farmboy). I spent many, many hours throughout high school and college pitching in on his family’s grain farm. (Occasionally, I took on odd jobs at other farms, too!)

When I was 15, I joined 4-H. My senior year of high school, I accidentally (long story) became the president of my school’s FFA chapter in its foundation year. My high school years helped cement the love of the rural life I learned from my father.

I began college in 2008 with a focus in graphic design. I moved to Naperville, IL, an upperclass suburban utopia just beyond Chicago’s western edge. Throughout undergrad, I balanced a wide array of extracurricular activities, internships, jobs, a heavy course load, and a very active social life. My freshman year, I discovered Twitter, and also discovered that farmers were using it. For the first time, my interest in communications was intersecting with agriculture.  Through my agriculture relationships on Twitter, I got the first of many agricultural communications internships.

Here, I would include a picture of me and some pivotal person I’ve met via online networking.
The issue with that is the fact that I know too many amazing people because of the Internet.

Late freshman year was also when I found out I was bipolar. Shortly after that, my stress eating turned into binging, which led to purging, which quickly spiraled out of control into full-blown bulimia. While I was certain I was holding myself together fairly well outwardly, my life became a struggle for a while. Sophomore year, I almost dropped out of college. I got addicted to one of my medications for anxiety, and even failed a class that I should have at least gotten a C in. Early in my junior year, Tim decided he couldn’t do it anymore. He ended our six-year relationship, not only to save his own sanity but also to encourage me to find mine.

Here, I would include an image relating to the previous paragraph,
but that paragraph is depressing. And there’s no way to display
how much wine I drank post-breakup in one single photo.

I continued to struggle, but managed to have life-changing internships in Wisconsin and California. I conquered a lot of fears and faced a lot of demons. I graduated on-time with a 3.45 GPA and an awesome job lined up in Kansas City. Since arriving in Kansas City in July of 2012, I feel I’ve blossomed. While every day is not good, there is good in every day. I’ve found so much of myself through my work, my new lifestyles, and my new experiences. My bulimia and bipolar disorder, while never completely gone, have taken on new form, a form which most days I am content with. My career is fulfilling. I’ve come to find I can thrive both in the country and in the city. I’ve developed a relationship with God that I am proud of and find comfort in. I really feel like I’ve found who I want to be, and most importantly I’ve found that I really can like myself.

Kelly Rivard Graduation Day

I might have been the only person at North Central College Commencement in June 2012 that was live-tweeting their own graduation. I was also one of two people wearing western boots at graduation.

Not long after I moved to Kansas City, I met a nice man from the area on Match.com and decided I’d keep him. I almost didn’t date him, because he wasn’t “my type.” But my friend Jodi set me straight on that account. Now we’re “going steady” as my mom would say. On this blog, I used to refer to him as Nightwolf — now, however, he’s just known as Josh. We go on a lot of adventures together, and our dogs are now best friends. He’s even taught me not to be afraid of birds, and I’ve convinced him to eat vegetables.

Nightwolf-kelly-at-wedding

Myself and Nightwolf.

So, here I am, a digital communicator that’s passionate about the rural/urban crossover, addicted to volunteering, constantly on-the-go while facing some pretty daunting challenges. But hey, that’s life. You take the bad with the good, you roll up your sleeves, you do what you must, and you find a reason to smile…no matter what.

Contact Me

I’m very open to answering questions and very willing to engage in dialogue. Feel free to comment or contact me through other means. You can get ahold of me pretty quickly through any of the following means:

Thanks for reading!

11 thoughts on “About Kelly

  1. Hi Kelly,
    I’m editor of Farm Industry News out of Miinneapolis. We have a digital/production editor position open. Are you still in college, or are you available for fulltime employment?
    Karen McMahon
    952/851-4680

  2. Hi Kelly!
    Sorry for contacting you through here – couldn’t find an email address :)

    I wanted to say a quick hello – my name’s Alicia and I’m part of the http://GreekForMe.com team. We love the real world college advice you provide that not only helps students get through school, but also prepares them for post-grad life. We know a thing or two about life after college, and would love to write an interesting guest blog post for your blog on a Greek/college related topic, if you’re open to it, and if you’d like to write one for our blog, we’d love to have you!

    You can get a taste of our writing style on other guest posts we’ve written, including http://www.collegeaftermath.com/life-adventures-after-college/5-ways-to-beat-loneliness-in-your-stressful-post-grad-life/, http://blog.realcollegetour.com/2010/09/27/3-tips-to-choose-the-right-sorority-or-fraternity-for-you/ and http://mygraduateschool.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/greekforme-com-guest-post-from-the-classroom-to-the-cubicle-seeking-feedback-the-right-way/, as well as on our blog at http://blog.greekforme.com. We’re always trying to keep our posts interesting for our readers on not only Greek life topics, but the well-rounded college experience.

    We’d love to work with you on this and look forward to hearing from you!

    Thanks,

    Alicia

    http://GreekForMe.com

    http://Blog.GreekForMe.com

    http://Twitter.com/GreekForMe

    • Hi Alicia! I love the opportunity to branch outward; I don’t have a lot of experience with Greek life because my school does not have it. (Apparently in the early 1900′s, a fraternity burnt down our college president’s house…at least, that’s the myth as to why the city of Naperville outlawed Greek life.) I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to work with you, though. If you’d like to continue this via email, I can be reached at kelly.m.rivard (at) gmail.com — I think this could be a fantastic partnership, and any chance to help students get the most out of their college experience is a great opportunity to me.

      Thank you so much for reaching out to me, Alicia. I’m incredibly honored to have been approached and I look forward to hearing more!

    • Aimee, coming from a blogger of your caliber, I am incredibly humbled! Thank you so much for reaching out, and for maintaing such a fantastic blog of your own. Keep up the great work and I look forward to connecting with you on another new level! Best wishes!

  3. I very much enjoyed your post, I also have fond memories of the Glad Festivl in Momence. I marched in the parade and in competition with the local Drum and Bugle Corps (White Tornadoes) for many years. The last time I attended the Festival was in 2009. Next year, I will be driving my antique tractor in the parade. Hope you get back soon..I will be in Momence again visiting this September. Thanks for the memories!(www. aninepoundhammer.com)

      • Hi Kelly!

        I did enjoy it! I was so encouraged by your personal journey as well as your focus on all the wonderful people who support Ag. My neighbor is young, in college, interested in marketing, but loves working outside on the farm with me. I’ve told her she needs a job in Ag marketing! I look forward to sharing your site with her.

        And your take on the future as a blank canvas – such a bright outlook and profound analogy.

        Very well done! Here’s to the future! :o)

        Best,
        Emily Grace

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