Why I chose agriculture
My father was a pork producer, and I grew up helping neighboring farmers. My family didn’t have cattle, but I grew to love the cattle business by working for other farmers.
How I prepared myself for agricultural business
Growing up on a hog farm, I learned the value of hard work and what it takes to make an operation run. Animals need to be fed and cared for every day of the year. My college education prepared me for the business side of the farm. We’ve also surrounded ourselves with smart people, and I try to learn from their experiences.
Our greatest challenge
We try to be proactive instead of reactive. Whether it’s in animal health or crop health, we try to identify small problems before they become big issues.
Our vision for the operation
We want to grow, but as we get bigger, we want to get better. We want to resist the temptation to focus on growth instead of margins.
The future of agriculture
We recognize we need to be advocates of our industry to ensure a prosperous future. We’re members of the Kansas Livestock Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. We need organizations like these educating consumers about why beef is healthy and why they should eat it. My wife, Kristen, facilitates an ag day in our school to help educate children about where their food comes from and why agriculture is a viable and needed industry.
Raising kids on the farm
Kristen: I have loved giving our kids space to grow and have experiences like riding in the feed truck with their dad and feeding their own bucket-calf every day. It’s something I didn’t grow up with, but it’s an amazing opportunity to give our children.
What I enjoy most about farming
The decisions we make have a direct impact on us. If we make good decisions, we reap the benefits. If we make bad decisions, we suffer the consequences. It’s rewarding and scary to know it comes down to whether I did or didn’t make a good choice. The buck stops here, and I like that.
Why we work with Frontier Farm Credit
I started with Frontier Farm Credit when I was in high school buying 12 steers we grazed for 90 days and then sold. My dad had worked with Frontier Farm Credit in the past and introduced me to a loan officer.
My wife and I started in the hay production business in 2003 shortly after we graduated college, targeting equestrian farms with premium small square bales. We then transitioned to row crops in 2012. As our operation has changed and grown, Frontier Farm Credit has come alongside to help us grow. They have been great.