Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Here we go.

Well, it's raining today here in West Michigan, which is a good thing. And now, I'm not talking Luke-Bryant-Rain-Is-A-Good-Thing, but it gives me an oppertunity to catch up on paperwork, do a few maps, and write a blog!

Well, I suppose I'll introduce myself to you all first. My name is Jeff, and I'm a 29 year old farmer and agronomist here in West Michigan. My wife and I farm in partnership with my dad, uncle, and brother. We currently raise around 2000 acres of corn, wheat, and soybeans and have 120 acres of apples and peaches. In addition, we custom harvest roughly another 2500 acres each fall. I'm the fourth generation in my family to farm here in the US, but I can trace farm roots in the Netherlands back 12 generations. My great grandfather never REALLY farmed-he was the head of maintiance for one of the hospitals in Grand Rapids. The farm was just an investment to him. My grandfather began farming the land in the late 1940's, and they milked cows until the late 70's. My dad and uncle didn't really get into farming as more than a hobby until I was in high school, in the mid 1990's. At that time, we farmed about 200 acres and had a herd of 40 beef cattle. By the time I left high school, the cows were gone and we had almost 1000 acres. That's about the same time we incorporated into a business. My brother and I started our farm (orchard) business in 2004, with 10 acres. In 2009, with 120 acres in production, we combined forces with our dad and uncle and created a "umbrealla" corporation that we all own.

Outside of the farming, we all have ag careers. My dad started with a little seed company called Payco Seeds in 1980. He pretty much stayed in the seed business until the late 90's, when he moved into ag retail. My brother and I, despite going to college for anything but ag, followed our father into the business. Today, we all work for Hamilton Farm Bureau Co-Operative, based in Hamilton, Michigan.

Well, that's me in a nutshell. I'm sure I'll get another blog post up later on. Thanks for reading.

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