Farms come in many different shapes and sizes; each farm with a unique story. On our farm, we are passionate about preserving traditions while also embracing progressive agricultural innovations. My husband’s family was among the original pioneers of our rural southern, Minnesota community back in 1862. My father-in-law was the fourth generation, my husband the fifth, our children the sixth. We take great pride in cultivating deep roots to continue to grow our family’s agricultural legacy for generations to come.
On our farm, we raise corn and soybeans. Not the delicious sweet corn we all enjoy throughout the months of July and August, but field corn. Field corn is raised for many different purposes such as Ethanol, animal feed, plastics, and thousands of manufactured goods Most of the corn we raise is used in ethanol production. The soybeans on our farm are used to produce soybean oil, soybean meal, and animal feed.
On our farm, we custom finish hogs. This means we own a hog barn and the space is used to house and care for another producer’s hogs. Basically, we rent out our space to them and take care of the animals as if they were our own until they are ready for market.
On our farm, we raise cattle for beef production. This is our newest, not so new adventure. It is a business my husband and I started in 2016, but our family farm raised beef cattle in the past as well. We have a small feed yard, raising anywhere from 10-20 steers annually. We purchase our steers when they are around 500 pounds and we market them to local customers in quarters, half, and whole animal shares when they are around 1300 pounds.
On our farm, we are passionate about soil health. We have been practicing various conservation tillage methods since the early 1990’s. Our farm started practicing strip tillage in 2009. Strip tillage minimally disturbs soil while delivering nutrients directly where the plants will need them in the upcoming growing season. Our soil has been fully turned three or less times in the last 30 years, which is pretty darn incredible.
On our farm, we raise farmers. We fill them up with love and respect. Our children help care for the livestock, understand the impacts of the rain (or lack there-of), and know the proper names for farm equipment. We didn’t tell them they had to love this lifestyle or even like it. It has been a very humbling experience to watch their love of the lifestyle unfold from such a young age. They are already very curious and ever so passionate about learning and helping (when it is safe).
On our farm, we are proud. We are so dang proud of this legacy that has sustained generations. We will spend our time bettering our operation for the future, just as the generations before us did. There is nothing more satisfying than being part of the process as the future unfolds before you with each growing season that passes. From preparing, to planting, protecting, and harvesting the crop each year. We strive for nothing but excellence on our farm with the factors we can control. We pray often for the rain to come or the rain to go.
On our farm, we remind ourselves daily, even on the hard days, that this life is worth it.