Tell me a little about your farm and/or business?
I have a family run farm in NW MN. I grow corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Besides having crops, I have 90 head of beef cows in a cow/calf operation, that are mostly Hereford and Hereford-Angus cross. I am in partnership with my brother and dad. And perhaps the most interesting aspect of his farm is nearly all his crops are exported, unlike in the southern part of the state where much of the crops are used for local livestock production.
How long have you farmed or been in business?
Dad started to farm the land when he came home from Korea in the spring of 1955. I purchased additional land in 2000. I have lived all my life on the farm.
Tell me a little about what you grown/raise/produce or service provided.
Nearly all my crops are exported from my area. The corn and soybeans are loaded on unit trains, bound for the Pacific Northwest, Washington, for export mainly to Asian countries. This was especially interesting when I was on a MARL trip to Vietnam, to be able to see where some of the crops end up. The some of the wheat I grow ends up in the flour mills in the state of MN, while the other part is grown for seed sales to other farmers in my area. The calves are sold at the sales barn in Bagley MN, and usually go to feedlots in Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado. A few years ago, some of our heifers were sold and shipped to the republics of the former Soviet Union, to replenish their cattle.
What makes your farm/business unique or special? What are you proud of?
The part of my business that I am proud of is knowing where my products are going. Knowing that my products are being shipped half way around the world, to feed hungry people gives me a great feeling.
It was very interesting working with the cattle buyer at the time are heifers were going to the Russian republics. At the time I was thinking that my cattle were seeing more of the world than I am. It also makes me proud that I grow seed wheat for other farmers to grow their wheat from.
What is one interesting fact about your farm/crops/livestock/business you would like to share.
I live on the bank of old Lake Aggazzi. This was left when the ice age reseeded. What is interesting, is that we have some land with coarse soil, sand and gravel, and some very rich fertile soil, that has a large part of clay in it. This fertile soil is very black!! It is interesting that not everywhere in the world has black fertile soil!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I also work with the U of M, with the soybean test plots. I have a soybean cysts nematode plot on my farm, and enjoy working with the University personal to help educate other farmers about this and other issues in farming.
I really enjoyed going into the classrooms in the Minneapolis teaching the kids about my farm. It made me feel so good to tell my story about Agriculture.