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Ask A Farmer/Farm Family

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

How are farmers coping with record high production costs?

Answer: Farmers are price takers and we are doing our best to mitigate higher prices and control our costs. “For the farmer is the only man in our economy who has to buy everything he buys at retail, sell everything he sells at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.” – ...read more

What does December look like on your farm?

Answer: The simple answer is everything we haven’t had time to do in September, October, and November while 90% of our focus was on the harvest. December! Harvest is wrapped up – if combines are still going in December, we are not in a good mood (2019… yikes). On Hartmann Farms, our ...read more

How do you care for your beef calves?

Answer: We constantly do health checks of our calves and make sure they have adequate feed and nutrition. We wean them at six months of age to allow the mother cows time to regain energy for their next calf. Every year we breed our mama cows in the summertime in order ...read more