Rush Valley, Utah, is a community rich in agriculture with expansive fields nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains. Tallon and Jenn Burton were attracted to the tranquility of the land and the friendliness of the residents. But more than anything, they wanted to settle into a life in the country – a place they could raise livestock and start a family with hard-working roots. However, their journey felt derailed with the devastating news that they couldn’t conceive a child on their own.
Story + Photos Tallon & Jennifer Burton
The couple met six years ago with a story that mimics the plotline of a modern western movie. Jenn is a leader at a financial institution who wears suits and heels while Tallon is a range rider who wears chaps and spurs. Jenn learned where the frog is on a horse whilst Tallon discovered why mortgage interest rates fluctuate. Their differences were appealing and after 14 months of traveling three hours each way to see one another, they were finally married.
Jenn immediately wanted to learn everything about Tallon’s lifestyle. Jenn assumed she’d be an expert rider in no time, having been a determined, all-star achiever her whole life. After several humbling hours on the back of a horse, she learned to be patient with herself and respect the process associated with mastery. Unlike most couples that struggle to be vulnerable or deficient in front of their partners, Tallon was able to teach Jenn, exuding patience and understanding. She was also very willing to learn, respecting Tallon’s expertise. Tallon has worked for feedlots and ranches and was an agricultural loan officer, providing equipment and cattle notes to customers. His agility makes him an excellent fit for day work, fascinated by how operations vary between properties. He’s become highly successful because he knows the importance of adapting to how things are run at each location. Tallon starts young horses, introducing them to many “firsts” – like saddling, roping and overcoming obstacles. By the time they are returned, the horse is ready to be ridden with ease.
"The couple spends much of their free time on horses. Jenn finally developed the confidence to try her hand at branding. Her proudest moment came after an hour of previously failed attempts, but with encouragement from her husband, she finally roped her first calf."
The journey and commitment to a western style of living has brought them together in a way that neither could have comprehended. They were overwhelmed by the excitement of introducing their future children to this lifestyle as well. They knew they were meant to be parents, but at the same time, they were faced with the extraordinary emotional rollercoaster that comes with not being able to conceive month after month and year after year. They were told early on that it would be difficult for them but after two years, they learned that the only possible way to conceive was through IVF which is expensive and rarely guaranteed. It was during this time that the couple began to seriously consider adoption and after months of prayer, they knew it was the next step. Two years have passed since the adoption journey began but the couple remains hopeful and eager. They know their future children will be raised in a community where they will see responsible, strong and hardworking neighbors and a supportive family. They understand that the skills learned from being part of an agricultural lifestyle will contribute to values that are foundational for success in life, where animals are put first and teamwork is important. It will teach them to be compassionate, responsible, kind, honest and hard-working.