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Meet a Farmer- Steve, Judy & Brian Bartels, Bartels Christmas Trees & Treasures

Published Mar. 31, 2011 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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Bartel's Christmas Trees & Treasures-Steve, Judy & Brian Bartels

Bartelsí Christmas Trees and Treasures, also known as Bartelsí Farm LLC, is the newest enterprise added to our family farm. We are Steve and Judy Bartels, in partnership with our son, Brian.

Christmas Trees are new to our farm, but farming is in our genes. My great- great grandfather farmed in Meigs County, Ohio, beginning in 1857, when he emigrated from Germany. Judyís family has been farming in this country since 1650, and in Wayne Township, Butler County, Ohio, since 1850. Her brother Jeff is the sixth generation on the same land.

When Judy and I began our family, my father and mother were farming the farm that we now own. It is located at 4427 Cotton Run Rd., in Wayne Township, and is only 124 acres. It would have been very difficult to support two families with such a small farm. Judy is a Registered Nurse, and also has her Masters Degree in Education. She teaches adult students the Practical Nursing Program at Butler Tech., and is working a few hours a month, at Mercy Hospital, Fairfield.† I have my Masters Degree in Agricultural Education, and worked for the Ohio State University Extension Service for 35.5 years. For most of that time I was the Agricultural Agent for Butler County. I am now retired, and am working a few hours a month as a crop insurance adjuster. Brian is a full time Paramedic/ Firefighter for the city of Fairborn, Ohio. He is engaged to be married on May 29th to Kara Cain. Our daughter, Amy lives and works in Columbus, and also is recently engaged to Matt Thorp. It is obvious that none of our family makes our primary living from the farm.

We are not, however, a hobby farm. We are trying to make it grow into a business that will one day be profitable. We rent the house, barn and pasture to Mike and Bert Dietz. Brian has worked out an agreement with them to share in the beef cattle raised on the farm. We also share rent the cropland with Eric Mckay. We do not cash rent the land because we want to be a part of the day to day operation. We grow field corn, soybeans and wheat.

We added Christmas trees to the farm three years ago this month. We have 3000 trees planted and intend to eventually have 10,000 Christmas Trees growing. It takes at least seven years, but more like nine years, to produce a great tree for your Christmas Celebration.

We believe the farm will stay in the family at least one more generation and maybe beyond. The Limited Liability Company, LLC, makes it easier to pass the farm on to our children. We donít now make the majority of our incomes from the farm, but if Christmas Trees and Treasures grows, in about 60 years we might have something!

For more information you can contact us at jsbartels@aol.com†

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