As Matt and I have discussed farming over the years, it has always been a conversation of passion, love, and responsibility. We realize the importance of responsible farming, for God has made us the stewards and caretakers of the land. Beyond our social and environmental responsibilities, we also appreciate the opportunity farming gives us to create a legacy. This is a legacy we will pass on to our children… a legacy beyond just the land and crops; a legacy of hard work, humility, and care.
This farm is more than land and crops, it’s our family’s heritage and future.
A leader at his full-time job (outside of the farm), Matt often references “the shadow you cast” when speaking of our interaction with others. Every man will cast a shadow as he walks this earth – What shadow will you cast? What legacy will you leave?
Now that the rent crop from the previous ownership has been harvested from our ground, we are able to access it to make it our own. We drilled 24 acres to winter wheat and the remaining 23 to a cereal rye, then to soybeans come Spring. Our son is far too little to help with farming, but Matt still loved when I brought him out for a picture. Proud dad with the next generation farmer (if that’s the path he chooses).
The conversation of cover crops has come to the forefront in our area and we are working to better understand them and integrate them into our farming practices. Part of this conversation has been driven by the concerns of the water quality in lake Erie and surrounding watersheds. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “They [cover crops] help improve soil health by reducing erosion, increasing soil organic matter content, improving air and water movement through soil, reducing soil compaction, capturing and recycling nutrients in the soil profile and managing soil moisture to promote biological nitrogen fixation” (USDA – Cover Crops).
Although we realize the value added of our efforts might not always have significant, immediate impact on our bottomline, we are striving to care for the land as best as possible. We are working to make our humble piece of earth at least a little better for the next generation.
“With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Like most things in life, we take what we are given from our parents or those who have taught us along the way and use that as our foundation. But as we grow, our experiences will sometimes change our perspectives, goals, and values. We are excited for the opportunity owning our own land brings. The foundation we were given can be built upon, as we determine how our future might look. Now it is our turn to build a foundation for the next generation, to help write the next chapter of the story…