ILNews

Choosing a life beyond suburbia has shaped lawyer's family and future

Holly Wheeler
August 28, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Are you a city mouse or a country mouse?

Years ago, Sherry Fabina-Abney would have identified herself as an urban rodent through and through, but today her answer would be quite different. Fabina-Abney, an attorney with the healthcare group at Ice Miller LLP in Indianapolis, moved her life and her identity to an 18-acre farm in Johnson County.

A country choice

apb-lawyer-statefair02-15col.jpg Sherry Fabina-Abney and daughter Angela represent their business Red Barn Farms LLC at this year’s Indiana State Fair where they showed an heirloom breed of cattle. (IL Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

Fabina-Abney spent her youth in northern Indiana and completed her undergraduate degree at Purdue University. After law school at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, she moved to Indianapolis and began her career at Ice Miller. It was Fabina-Abney’s husband who pushed for moving beyond the suburbs when the couple contemplated setting down roots to start a family.

“My husband knew he wanted to be out in the country because his grandparents were farmers and he loved that lifestyle,” she said. “We started making a circle and found a property in Johnson County.”

The rural environment has had a tremendous impact on Fabina-Abney’s children, leading them to community involvement and leadership as well as career opportunities they likely would not have considered if raised elsewhere. Oldest daughter Angela is a junior at Purdue University studying agribusiness and operating her own beef business. Middle daughter Allie, a recent high school graduate, is state FFA president and will spend the year advocating for agricultural issues. Son Dougie is involved in 4-H and raises and shows goats.

“It’s kind of interesting how things go when you have children,” Fabina-Abney said. “If someone said, ‘25 years from now, tell me what your life is going to be like,’ I never thought I’d be out in the country, roosters crowing, cows mooing. It’s actually turned out to be a lifestyle for our family. We’ve been able to teach our kids and instill in them a good work ethic and the value of hard work.”

A rare breed

What’s black and white and bred from heirloom Scottish stock? A Belted Galloway, of course.

About 12 years ago, Fabina-Abney and her family began to raise livestock on their farm. Angela begged for a calf to

raise and show at the 4-H fair. The couple agreed – on the condition that they start a herd and take on the responsibility of raising and breeding them. A neighbor introduced them to the Belted Galloway, a breed of cattle whose pure bloodline can be traced back to Scotland.

“They are a long-haired breed and they are well known for their meat tenderness,” she said. “They are what’s considered a heritage breed. They are from one of the oldest pure-bred genetic pools of cattle.”

The breed’s signature black and white (think Oreo cookie) coat and long mane (think bison) make it attractive – so attractive that one of the reasons Fabina-Abney’s husband, Doug, chose the breed was because it would look good in their front pasture.

“We have the largest registered herd of Belted Galloways in the state of Indiana,” she said. “It’s like registering a pure-bred dog. Typically their hair can get up to 6 inches long. They also have a long undercoat so in the wintertime they don’t need as much fat to cover their body and keep them warm. That’s why they’re leaner. They’re great foragers. If you go back to their heritage, Scotland, a rocky, rugged territory, they’d have to eat anything to survive.”

Similar to dog shows, the family shows their bovine beauties at fairs and competitions, including this year’s Indiana State Fair. Because of the rarity of Belted Galloways, the Abneys entry was in a class by itself.

“This was the first time they were shown as a class,” Fabina-Abney said. “We were grateful that the State Fair let us do that to give the Belted Galloway group a place to show their cattle.”

It was as the family’s involvement in breeding Belted Galloways grew that Angela decided to open her own business – Red Barn Meats, LLC.

“When she was in high school, through FFA, she started her own freezer beef business that she continues to run and operate,” Fabina-Abney said. “She goes to various farmers’ markets – she does the Bloomington market, the Greenwood market, Franklin and she does the one over here at the statehouse – she buys our steers when they’re ready to be harvested and she processes that and sells that as meat with her private label.”

Red Barn Meats is purveyor of not just beef, but pork, goat and eggs. Angela works with her father, sister and brother to manage the business while attending school full-time.

Greener pastures

Choosing a life beyond suburbia has shaped Fabina-Abney and her family in countless ways. She looks at her oldest daughter as an example, citing how the life choices she’s making are a direct result of where and how she grew up.

“My husband and I didn’t come from an agriculture background. It’s a lifestyle for our kids and our kids want to continue that lifestyle in whatever career they choose,” she said. “It’s interesting how the kids have taken off with the whole agriculture passion.”

This story of a city mouse who became queen of the country may seem to disprove Aesop’s moral. Like most fables, however, the true meaning deepens upon reflection, and for Fabina-Abney, the lesson ultimately becomes, “You make choices and you live them.”•

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. OK, take notice. Those wondering just how corrupt the Indiana system is can see the picture in this post. Attorney Donald James did not criticize any judges, he merely, it would seem, caused some clients to file against him and then ignored his own defense. James thus disrespected the system via ignoring all and was also ordered to reimburse the commission $525.88 for the costs of prosecuting the first case against him. Yes, nearly $526 for all the costs, the state having proved it all. Ouch, right? Now consider whistleblower and constitutionalist and citizen journalist Paul Ogden who criticized a judge, defended himself in such a professional fashion as to have half the case against him thrown out by the ISC and was then handed a career ending $10,000 bill as "half the costs" of the state crucifying him. http://www.theindianalawyer.com/ogden-quitting-law-citing-high-disciplinary-fine/PARAMS/article/35323 THE TAKEAWAY MESSAGE for any who have ears to hear ... resist Star Chamber and pay with your career ... welcome to the Indiana system of (cough) justice.

  2. GMA Ranger, I, too, was warned against posting on how the Ind govt was attempting to destroy me professionally, and visit great costs and even destitution upon my family through their processing. No doubt the discussion in Indy today is likely how to ban me from this site (I expect I soon will be), just as they have banned me from emailing them at the BLE and Office of Bar Admission and ADA coordinator -- or, if that fails, whether they can file a complaint against my Kansas or SCOTUS law license for telling just how they operate and offering all of my files over the past decade to any of good will. The elitist insiders running the Hoosier social control mechanisms realize that knowledge and a unified response will be the end of their unjust reign. They fear exposure and accountability. I was banned for life from the Indiana bar for questioning government processing, that is, for being a whistleblower. Hoosier whistleblowers suffer much. I have no doubt, Gma Ranger, of what you report. They fear us, but realize as long as they keep us in fear of them, they can control us. Kinda like the kids' show Ants. Tyrannical governments the world over are being shaken by empowered citizens. Hoosiers dealing with The Capitol are often dealing with tyranny. Time to rise up: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/17/governments-struggling-to-retain-trust-of-citizens-global-survey-finds Back to the Founders! MAGA!

  3. Science is showing us the root of addiction is the lack of connection (with people). Criminalizing people who are lonely is a gross misinterpretation of what data is revealing and the approach we must take to combat mental health. Harsher crimes from drug dealers? where there is a demand there is a market, so make it legal and encourage these citizens to be functioning members of a society with competitive market opportunities. Legalize are "drugs" and quit wasting tax payer dollars on frivolous incarceration. The system is destroying lives and doing it in the name of privatized profits. To demonize loneliness and destroy lives in the land of opportunity is not freedom.

  4. Good luck, but as I have documented in three Hail Mary's to the SCOTUS, two applications (2007 & 2013),a civil rights suit and my own kicked-to-the-curb prayer for mandamus. all supported in detailed affidavits with full legal briefing (never considered), the ISC knows that the BLE operates "above the law" (i.e. unconstitutionally) and does not give a damn. In fact, that is how it was designed to control the lawyers. IU Law Prof. Patrick Baude blew the whistle while he was Ind Bar Examiner President back in 1993, even he was shut down. It is a masonic system that blackballs those whom the elite disdain. Here is the basic thrust:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackballing When I asked why I was initially denied, the court's foremost jester wrote back that the ten examiners all voted, and I did not gain the needed votes for approval (whatever that is, probably ten) and thus I was not in .. nothing written, no explanation, just go away or appeal ... and if you appeal and disagree with their system .. proof positive you lack character and fitness. It is both arbitrary and capricious by its very design. The Hoosier legal elites are monarchical minded, and rejected me for life for ostensibly failing to sufficiently respect man's law (due to my stated regard for God's law -- which they questioned me on, after remanding me for a psych eval for holding such Higher Law beliefs) while breaking their own rules, breaking federal statutory law, and violating federal and state constitutions and ancient due process standards .. all well documented as they "processed me" over many years.... yes years ... they have few standards that they will not bulldoze to get to the end desired. And the ISC knows this, and they keep it in play. So sad, And the fed courts refuse to do anything, and so the blackballing show goes on ... it is the Indy way. My final experience here: https://www.scribd.com/document/299040062/Brown-ind-Bar-memo-Pet-cert I will open my files to anyone interested in seeing justice dawn over Indy. My cases are an open book, just ask.

  5. Looks like 2017 will be another notable year for these cases. I have a Grandson involved in a CHINS case that should never have been. He and the whole family are being held hostage by CPS and the 'current mood' of the CPS caseworker. If the parents disagree with a decision, they are penalized. I, along with other were posting on Jasper County Online News, but all were quickly warned to remove posts. I totally understand that some children need these services, but in this case, it was mistakes, covered by coorcement of father to sign papers, lies and cover-ups. The most astonishing thing was within 2 weeks of this child being placed with CPS, a private adoption agency was asking questions regarding child's family in the area. I believe a photo that was taken by CPS manager at the very onset during the CHINS co-ocerment and the intent was to make money. I have even been warned not to post or speak to anyone regarding this case. Parents have completed all requirements, met foster parents, get visitation 2 days a week, and still the next court date is all the way out till May 1, which gives them(CPS) plenty of to time make further demands (which I expect) No trust of these 'seasoned' case managers, as I have already learned too much about their dirty little tricks. If they discover that I have posted here, I expect they will not be happy and penalized parents again. Still a Hostage.

ADVERTISEMENT