Tracy Cannell and her husband Leif are the owners of, Farm @ Corner of Healthy and Happy, a vacation rental, at 3023 W. Rockton Road, about one mile wests of Rockton. The couple rent their five-bedroom home, barn and outbuildings for country-style weddings, family reunions, funeral gatherings and graduation parties.

By Jean Seegers
A wedding in the country – a popular concept that many engaged couples are currently exploring. Several home-owners in the area are jumping on the band-wagon and turning their homes and farms into event and vacation rentals.
Three years ago, Tracy Cannell and her husband Leif heard about the popularity of BnB’s. The couple own a large, five-bedroom farm home, barn, silos and a few other out-buildings at 3023 West Rockton Road, about a mile west of Rockton.
The Connells raised their five children on the farm. However, all of the children are now adults and living elsewhere.
Tracy has taught school for several years. Leif is an Aeronautical Engineer at Hamilton-Sundstrand Engineering in Rockford. In 2003, through Leif’s company, the Cannells were given the opportunity to live in China for eight years. It was a life-changing experience for the entire family.
When the couple and their five children returned in 2010, they came back to their 10-acre farm in Rockton and their former lives. Although they had raised the children on the farm. the kids were now older and ready to move on and forge their own paths. The family nest was empty.
About this time, the Cannells heard about the recent popularity of B & B’s, and decided to explore the possibility of turning their farm into a vacation rental.
After doing some renovations and repairs, the couple opened “The Farm @ the Corner of Healthy and Happy.
Securing legal zoning was a challenge. “Our petition was verbally okayed by the Village of Rockton and Rockton Township,” Tracy said. “We then applied to the Winnebago County Zoning Board. We were eventually zoned Rural Ag, which allowed for Vacation Rentals, on June 12, 2019.
To date, they have rented to over 100 groups.
The farm is open for rentals from April through October. “When the farm is rented, Leif and I move out and stay with our adult kids, or in-laws, “Tracy said. “About once every month we stay at another BnB.”
Tracy said most of their rentals are to people from the Chicago area who are looking for a country-living experience. “Many of the bookings are destination weddings.”
The first rural-themed wedding was three years ago. “The bride wanted to have a rural wedding and hold the reception in our red pole barn.”
Often, the wedding events have become three-day rentals with the bride, bridesmaids and friends staying in the farm house, and groom and groomsmen lodging in neighboring BnB’s. One of the nearby rentals is at 13002 Harrison Road in Shirland. The farm and five-bedroom historic limestone home are owned and operated by Dave Winters.
Renters are required to sign a contract. It specifies that they have full use of the Cannells well-equipped, newly re-novated kitchen.
“We don’t provide any food or refreshments. The renters bring their own, or have the event catered.”
Renters also provide their own music, entertainment, decorations, tables and chairs, refreshments and bartenders. (The Cannells carry Dram Insurance.)
“We are always here to show them around when they arrive,” Tracy said.
The couple recently installed a 14×14 ft. white oak dance floor in the middle of the barn. Future plans are to refurbish a small camping trailer (Glamper) that sits on the property, and turn the grain bins into living quarters.
The wedding ceremony often takes place outside, with the farm silos as backdrop. The reception is held in the barn, which can accommodate 100 guests.
The farm can also be rented for family reunions, funeral gatherings and graduation parties. “Families of Beloit College graduates often book with us,” Tracy said.
After experiencing eight years in China, Tracy retains her enduring love of the Chinese people, their language and their culture. She has taught Mandarin at Boylan High School for several years and will move over to Marshall Middle School in the fall.
The Cannells have hosted many Chinese students in their home. Tracy recently returned from five weeks in Shanghai where she led a student tour group.
Information on reception venues can be found at The Barn @ Rockton.
Information can also be obtained at: Farm @ Corner of Healthy and Happy.
Call 815-978-4007 for Information on the Winters’ property.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.