I FEEL A BIG RESPONSIBILITY TO THE GENERATIONS THAT CAME BEFORE ME
By the time I was starting 4-H, my dad had set aside 5 acres of the farm for me. I’m 30 now, and I’m already looking ahead 20 years or so to passing the farm to my son if that’s what he chooses. I feel a big responsibility to the four generations that came before me, but it’s a burden that I welcome.
MY DAD TREATED ME LIKE A PARTNER
I’m the 5th generation, and when my son is old enough, he could be the 6th. I think the best succession plan is what my father did. He treated me like a partner for as long back as I can remember. He challenged me, he respected my opinions and he included me in everything he did. Mostly, he made it fun.
THERE’S NEVER ENOUGH TIME IN THE DAY
The thing about this way of life is you need to have so many skills. Nobody can be the best at everything they put their hand to, but it helps to at least know the basics. We need to understand agronomy and mechanics, and know how to think strategically because we wear so many different hats throughout the day:
I oversee the growing and marketing of our seed soybean, non-GMO food-grade soybean, food-grade white corn and regular corn crops.
We’ve also expanded into specialty popcorn under our brand, Pilot Knob Comforts, an effort that grew from 30 acres of hobby farming to 300 for commercial use.