Farmers

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Sarah Hastings

Sarah Hastings

Sidney, IL

Corn
Soybeans

Sarah Hastings

Motivated to succeed

I want to do the very best I can. If I farm my whole life, Iím maybe going to have 50 crops in my lifetime. How many other jobs do you get such few chances to get it right?

You get one shot a year to get it right. And no matter what I do, that crop is going to come up, and itís going to show everything I did right. And everything I did wrong. I have to take care of that crop, and then I hope that I can sell it and make a profit to provide for my family and go back and do it the next year.

Control what I can control

Weather is the No. 1 factor contributing to or subtracting from the productivity of our crops in the field. One thing we do on our farm to address changing weather patterns is minimal soil tillage. After we harvest our crops, the parts of the plant we donít use remain in the field over winter to decompose. During some of the heavier fall and spring rains, this crop residue controls water runoff and keeps the soil in place. Other conservation and soil health practices like buffer strips and waterways also prevent erosion of our most precious resource Ė topsoil.

Sustaining my family

I may not be the stereotypical farmer, but at the end of the day, Iím the one that plants our crop and harvests it. Farming, in my opinion, is one of the best ways to make a living. And if the next generation wanted to come and farm, I would do everything I could to make that happen.

Iíd like to teach my son that at the end of the day, if you go out and put in the work and the effort, thereís something good thatís going to come out of that. I hope to leave the ground and our land better for the future.