Farming is a Family Business

Agriculture | FIND Iowa
Apr 18, 2024 | 00:03:53

Over generations of farming, what do you think has changed and what may have stayed the same?

Farms in Iowa are often passed from generation to generation. Each generation of farmers experiences technological advances, meaning there is always a need to learn what's new. This family of farmers proves that you are never too young, or too old, to learn.


[Abby Brown] What's your name and how old are you?

[Anna] I'm Anna and I'm 8.

[Abby] And what's your name and how old are you?

[Sam] I'm Sam and I'm 6.

[Abby] And are you guys farmers?

[Kids in unison] Yeah.

[Abby] Do you live on a farm?

[Kids in unison] Yeah.

[Abby] What does it mean to be a farmer? It means that you have animals and you have a lot of fields and equipment and things like that. What does it mean for you to be a farmer?

[Kids in unison] We get to ride in combines and grain carts.

You get to ride in combines and grain carts! So have you already done that?

[Kids in unison] Uh-huh.

[Abby] And you're only 6 years old?

[Sam] Mm-hmm.

[Abby] Once upon a time, kids grew up learning about the farm from their parents and even grandparents, until they were experts ready to be the next generation to take over the full responsibilities and duties of the farm. Now, whether you grow up on a farm or not you can always learn about agriculture in clubs at school and earn college degrees in agriculture. In fact, because farmers and ag professionals are sometimes the very first to use brand new technologies, it's really important that they always keep learning.

[Abby] All right, Candi, this is your amazing family. We've got 3 generations here. And how many generations total on this family farm?

[Candi] Five.

[Abby] Five generations.

[Candi] These guys are the fifth.

[Abby] Okay. Now, your dad learned everything he knows growing up on the farm. How did you learn how to farm?

[Candi] So a lot of it from growing up here but I also went to college in ag engineering and I worked for 18 years at John Deere and learned a lot while I was there as well.

[Abby] Who wants to be a farmer when they grow up?

[Abby] Josie, you're going to be a farmer?

[Abby] So you are Candi's mom and dad?

[Bruce and Jor Jan] Yes.

[Abby] And which generation are you for this family farm?

[Bruce] The third.

[Abby] You're the third generation. So, things have changed a whole lot over your time on this farm, right?

[Bruce] My grandpa moved to this farm with horses. He had a tractor and horses. It was horse-drawn plows, horse-drawn cultivator, horse-drawn planter and they had gotten their first tractor before they moved here but not long before that. So it was during World War II that they moved here.

[Jor Jan] 1942.

[Abby] And this year for harvest Candi used a brand new combine. What is the biggest difference between what Candi uses this year and what you've used in your time on the farm and what your predecessors have used?

[Bruce] Well, if you want to just use in my lifetime, when I was in junior high and high school we had a combine that had a capacity of, we could do 60 acres in a day if we worked really hard, 50 to 60. And the combine we have today will do 250. So it's five times bigger.

[Abby] And she's got a whole lot more gadgets and tools inside there.

[Bruce] Yeah, the technology is completely different. Everything was manual back then. It was all levers and everything was you physically pulled the lever to turn the auger on or whatever. Everything is electronic now. The other big difference is the amount of hours you can spend in the combine is completely different. The comfort level is so much greater, from an air conditioning standpoint, that's a big difference is the comfort level.

[Abby] It's absolutely incredible how technology, tradition and hard work can bring a family together to feed the world.

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