top of page

Pro Golfer, Farmer, Mother- Rachel Rohanna Virgili

As I write, Rachel Rohanna Virgili is working around the links at the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Michigan. From a very young age Rachel knew what she wanted: to live on a farm and to be a professional golfer. Through ERV Cattle and the LPGA her dreams have become a reality.

Photo Credit: LPGA

Golf has always been a part of Rachel's life thanks to her family's affinity for the game; both of her parents played, her father's uncle owned a golf course, and her mother's parents taught pro golf. When she was 8 years old Rachel entered her first golf tournaments which led to her playing in high school and then for Ohio State University. Rachel turned pro in 2013, but it was in 2016 when Rachel played her first year on the LPGA Tour after earning her card the year before. In 2015 and 2017 headlines shared both of Rachel's passions as she announced she would be using part of her earnings to purchase heifers; the 1st named "Sara Bay" after her win in Sarasota, FL, the 2nd named "Daytona" after her win in Daytona, FL.

Want to attend an LPGA event? Reach out to Rachel on Instagram or Facebook and she will get you in!

At Ohio State University Rachel sought a degree in agribusiness. When I asked why agribusiness she said, "I knew if golf didn't work out (if I got injured) I would want to be in agriculture. My dad's parents had a dairy farm, but sold the cows when I was about 13. If golf wasn't going to work out, I wanted to study agribusiness because 1) it would be something that I can do to make a difference in people's lives, and 2) everyone's gotta eat so I figured I could find a job somewhere." While in college Rachel met her husband, Ethan. Ethan attended Penn State where he studied animal sciences, but the two of them grew up in the same county, and they eventually met at a tractor pull.

Ethan already had cattle when he and Rachel started dating and together they have grown the herd to 100+ strong. Looking at the pictures and what I have learned about the Virgili's it is easy to see genetics is an important part of their cattle operation and they are turning out some great looking animals. Along with the cattle, Ethan operates Virgili Custom Meats, a butcher shop that his grandfather established. At his shop the meats are processed directly for the customers and runs during their peak season- from September to April.

When I asked Rachel if there's anything she would want to make sure I include in this article she said, "The farming and professional golfing lifestyles are actually very similar. It's a lot of hard work. I'm in the entertainment business, but it's a dream that I've had since I was 8 years old. It's hard, there are a lot of tough times, not much sleep, body aches & pains, not seeing your family for sometimes weeks at a time, and a ton of mental stress. You are in charge of figuring out a way to make your own paycheck. Some weeks are great and you can cash $30,000, and some weeks I lose $4,000. But we both {Rachel and Ethan} do what we love because we are so passionate about it and because we believe there are people out there that we are helping. Whether it's feeding them, or showing young kids that if they set their minds to something and work very hard, they can accomplish their dreams. I actually see a lot of farming posts that will bash celebrities and professional athletes. We care and are passionate about our careers just as much as farmers. The joy you get when your son, grandson, or sometimes just a random kid asks to ride on the tractor/combine with you is the same joy I get when I see my daughter following along on the golf course or a young kid ask for an autograph at the end of the round. We both live and love a very crazy lifestyle, but both are worth teaching and pursuing!"

(L to R): Gemelia Grace, Rachel, and Ethan

Sources: ESPN | LPGA

381 views0 comments


bottom of page