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Ask A Farmer/Farm Family

Our winters can be bitter cold, so how do you keep your animals warm?

Answer: Temperature-controlled barns with some added insulation keep our pigs warm and healthy during the cold winter months. Tropical vacation? Who needs that when you have heated hog barns to go into everyday! Keeping our livestock warm is an important part of our daily chores in winter. My wife, Liz, has been ...read more

How has cattle and grain farming changed on your farm?

Answer: The biggest changes have been in farm size, technology, and production costs. My Great-Grandfather Marsden Carey started this farm back in the 1950’s. He farmed with his sons, including my Grandfather Don Carey. Today, I farm along with my parents, John and Cindy (Carey) Baenziger, as a 4th generation farmer. Grain ...read more

How do farm kids balance farm work with school and other activities?

A strong work ethic helps us focus on our livestock chores along with schoolwork and sports. This is Warren and Eli Schweitzer responding to this question as we now are back in school. We are farm boys that raise livestock as 4-H projects. We also play football, basketball, and baseball. It is ...read more

How did you decide what crops to grow this year?

Answer: We plant corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, and sweet corn each year, rotating the location and acreage of crops. We use a portion of the corn, hay and wheat for cattle feed, and wheat straw for cattle bedding. We typically plant the same five crops each year because we have a ...read more

What are farmers doing to protect some of the best farmland in the world?

Answer: We use a variety of soil conservation practices such as strip-till, no-till, reduced-till, cover crops, and grassed waterways to prevent soil loss/erosion and preserve soils. “Essentially, all life depends upon the soil … There can be no life without soil and no soil without life.” Charles E. Kellogg As DeKalb County ...read more

How do farmers deal with spring planting weather changes?

We are at the mercy of weather. We have to wait until field conditions are right to plant. If planting is delayed due to weather we may have to change seed varieties or shift crops. Temperatures are warming, the snow is melting, and everyone is thinking spring! For grain farmers, this ...read more