Farmers are busy in the fields bringing in the corn and soybeans this time of year, however, there are many other kinds of farms, including livestock farms, tree farms, farmers markets and many more. Wiki Answers says farming is Ohio’s No. 1 Industry. KentOhio.net reports that agriculture contributes over $98 billion to the state’s economy.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture states this: Farmers- they are more than you think. Mechanic, meteorologist, scientist, machine operator, agronomist, computer operator, and animal caretaker. Ask a farmer and they could probably add a few more. There are many things to be learned on a farm and ways to learn. You learn by watching others, listening to others as they talk, seek advice from seasoned farmers and your own trial and error.
Besides crops, farm families have raised horses, dairy and beef cows, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, donkeys, and poultry, to name a few. My girls, Lindsey and Lynda, raised rabbits for their 4-H projects. On a farm you usually have a dog and maybe a cat or two. The farmers raise their children on the farm and they all have chores they are responsible for . It’s not just a way of life it’s a wonderful heritage they give to their children and then their children pass to their children for generations.
Phillip Neer’s father, Alvie Lapp started farming with a threshing machine. His father Dwight continued on the farm with his father. Phillip’s son, Steve with wife Surnea and their four children, help on the family farm making the fourth and fifth generations. Neer and wife Reva, have 65 Dairy Cows and feed out Bull Calves to sell. They have about 800 acres of corn, wheat, soybeans, and alfalfa. They had a milking parlor in the 1970’s.
Bob McClure and wife, Cyndi, live in the farm house he was raised in by his parents, Dale and Pat McClure. Bob’s son, Bobby McClure, fifth generation, also helps on the family farm. They milk 73 cows and have 1,100 acres of corn and soybean crops. McClure remembers as a child, there was a tornado headed their way, so he and his parents headed to the basement. Once he got to the basement he realized his parents were still upstairs looking out the windows reporting to each other, the damage the tornado was causing. Never a dull moment on the farm.
Farming communities are close and when help is needed they pitch in and do what is what they can. Putting in the crops, helping with harvest or with milking. They are there, neighbor helping neighbor. Hardworking people who continue with life on the farm, sharing the special farming heritage passed down to them. Happy and safe Harvest!
Tami Wenger is a regular contributor to this newspaper.